The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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January - March 2016, Volume 12, Issue 1
Clinical review/Extensive clinical experience

Ciobica A, Balmus IM, Padurariu M

Is Oxytocin Relevant for the Affective Disorders?

Acta Endo (Buc) 2016, 12 (1): 65-71
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2016.65

Oxytocin is a complex molecule involved in a variety of biological processes at both the central and the peripheral level. Although its role was initially associated almost exclusively with birth and breastfeeding, recent studies are suggesting that in fact oxytocin could be involved in many other physiological and pathological processes. In this way, lately there is a growing interest towards a possible involvement of oxytocin in many etiopathogenic and psychopathological processes, as for example in the affective disorders, where the roles of oxytocin are not yet clearly understood. In this paper we shortly describe the main aspects regarding the relevance of oxytocin administration or its mechanisms in the affective disorders, as well as its relations with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and cortisol secretion. It seems that although the researches on the importance of oxytocin in the affective disorders are rather at the beginning, an increasing number of evidence is supporting the involvement of oxytocin in the pathogenic processes of these psychiatric disorders. Still, the studies covering this topic are still in their early days, and the results that are trying to understand if there is a major role of oxytocin in affective disorders are not consistent enough to draw definitive conclusions and establish with certainty where the place of oxytocin in the affective disorders pathology is

Keywords: oxytocin, affective disorders, depression, cortisol, HPA axis.

Correspondence: Alin Ciobica MD, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Dept. of Biology, 11th Carol I Blvd., 700506, Iasi, Romania, E-mail: