Impact of Oxytocin on Sexual Behavior: Rockefeller University Research

Impact of Oxytocin on Sexual Behavior: Rockefeller University Research

Researchers at Rockefeller University have finally discovered how ‘love hormone’ stimulates a female’s sexual interest. The researchers claim that ‘oxytocin’, body’s natural love potion, can have a significant influence on interactions between males and females.

Nathaniel Heintz, James and Marilyn Simons Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology said that through the identification of a new population of neurons activated by oxytocin they were able to find out that these chemical signals highly influence interactions between male and female mice.

The researchers observed a brain cell-based mechanism that leads to pro-social hormone phenomenon. They used a technique known as translating ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) to observe it.

A doctorate student Miho Nakajima associated with research said that their research was focused majorly on females because oxytocin is largely involved in the social behaviors of females.

Further in order to find out how oxytocin receptor interneurons (OxtrINs) affect behavior when triggered by oxytocin the researchers silenced the OxtrINs. And in a second experiment they blocked the receptor’s ability to find oxytocin in rodent females.

The female rodents were given a social behavior test. During the test, female rodents were given the choice to explore a room with a male mouse. Researchers found that mice in which the OxtrINs was silenced showed a high-level of interest in the object.

According to the researchers these findings showed that the female reproductive cycle has an influence over behavior. On the other hand in the second experiment researchers found that mice in estrus (a sexually reproductive phase) showed an unusual lack of interest in males at the time when their receptor was inactivated.

Andreas Görlich, a postdoc in the lab who recorded the electrical activity of these neurons with and without the hormone, said, “The interesting part is that when exposed to oxytocin these neurons fire more frequently in female mice than they do in male mice, possibly reflecting the differences that showed up in the behavioral tests”.

Popular Stories

Space debris poses big threat

Space junk created by humans’ space missions over... Read More

Fitbit Sales Surge during Christmas

Fitness-tracking device manufacturer Fitbit... Read More

Nintendo 2DS launching in Japan with four Pokemon-themed consoles

According to an announcement made on Pokemon's... Read More