A Glimpse in the World of Clinical Chemistry: Explore. Experience. Execute.

This blog contains information all about Clinical Chemistry.
Enjoy reading this blog and don't hesitate to post any comments. Thank you! 
My name is Eryll and welcome to my blog.

OXYTOCIN : Love Hormone  

Posted by eryLL

Breastfeed. Childbirth. Cuddle. Hug. Kiss. Love. Sex. Touch.
During these times, Oxytocin is released into the blood.

Oxytocin came from the word ‘oxutokia’ meaning ‘sudden delivery’.

Oxytocin is a hormone synthesized in the neurosecretory cells of the hypothalamus and stored in the Herring bodies in the posterior pituitary. It is one of the two major hormones secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, along with the antidiuretic hormone

Two Major Actions of Oxytocin: 
  • Oxytocin improves the muscle contraction of the uterus during childbirth. It is sometimes administered to women in labor to help the cervix be ready for childbirth.
  • In breastfeeding moms, oxytocin acts at the mammary glands by stimulating milk ejection in response to the stimulus provided by the sucking of the infant at the nipple of the mom.

A simple hug can hasten the release of oxytocin, leading to a sense of closeness and understanding. 

Attraction. Care. Empathy. Love. Peace. Security. Trust. Warmth.
Emotional feelings associated with oxytocin. 

Once oxytocin released in the posterior pituitary, it can’t re-enter to the brain because of the Blood-Brain Barrier. The behavioral effects of oxytocin are released by the centrally projecting oxytocin neurons. 

The oxytocin released during breast-feeding may help in building the relationship of the mother and her baby. In this case, giving the baby warmth and security, and the mother encouragement in protecting and caring her baby. 

Oxytocin is also released during orgasm by both men and women. Some say this will bring attraction and stronger bond for the couple. Oxytocin may also be responsible for the sexual satisfaction and sexual pleasure during and after the intercourse.

More touch, more hug, more kiss and more sex result to stronger bond, deeper love, firmer trust and happier relationship.

Oxytocin Determination
Oxytocin in the blood can be quantitatively measured by performing Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA). It uses polyclonal antibodies against Oxytocin. Oxytocin and the polyclonal antibodies are made to bind to each other and incubated at 4' C. The excess reagents are washed away and substrate is added, then incubate. The yellow end-color is read in a colorimeter at 405 nm. The intensity of the yellow end-color is inversely proportional to the concentration of oxytocin in the sample.

Specimen of choice: serum or EDTA - treated plasma

Oxytocin Drugs
Oxytocin drugs are administered intravenously, intramuscular or as nasal spray. Injecting oxytocins intravenously or intramuscular are used in childbirth cases. While, Oxytocin nasal sprays stimulate breastfeeding.

Normal Dose for Labor: Initial dose of 0.5 to 1 mU/hr  IV infusion. Slowly increase 1 to 2 mU every 30 to 60 minutes until the desired contraction pattern has been achieved.

Oxytocin Challenge Test (Contraction Stress Test)
This is a special prenatal test. It is normally done during 34 weeks of pregnancy or more. This test is used to predict how will the unborn baby respond to labor contractions. This test checks to identify the unborn babies who can’t recover easily from reduced blood and oxygen supply during labor contractions. Reduced blood and oxygen supply are seen normally during labor contractions.

Oxytocin will be used to stimulate the contractions of the smooth muscle cells of the uterus. 

Normal result: Three contractions every ten minutes with at least forty seconds long each contraction.

References: (click links for more information)

photo 1 by lepiaf.geo
photo 2 courtesy of joanna ramoso
photo 3 by davhor