Definitions for oxytocinˌɒk sɪˈtoʊ sən
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word oxytocin
hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitocin); stimulates contractions of the uterus and ejection of milk
A hormone that stimulates contractions during labour/labor, and then the production of milk.
Origin: From oxytocic, from ὀξύς + τόκος, from τίκτω.
Oxytocin is a mammalian neurohypophysial hormone that acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain. Oxytocin plays roles in sexual reproduction, in particular during and after childbirth. It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, facilitating birth, maternal bonding, and, after stimulation of the nipples, breastfeeding. Both childbirth and milk ejection result from positive feedback mechanisms. Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the "love hormone". There is some evidence that oxytocin promotes ethnocentric behavior, incorporating the trust and empathy of in-groups with their suspicion and rejection of outsiders. Furthermore, genetic differences in the oxytocin receptor gene have been associated with maladaptive social traits such as aggressive behaviour.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A nonapeptide hormone released from the neurohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, POSTERIOR). It differs from VASOPRESSIN by two amino acids at residues 3 and 8. Oxytocin acts on SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS, such as causing UTERINE CONTRACTIONS and MILK EJECTION.
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