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Special Issue "Therapeutic Potential of Targeting the Oxytocinergic System"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Neurobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Adele Romano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “V. Erspamer”, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Rome, Italy
Interests: Neuropsychopharmacology; oleoylethanolamide (OEA); eating disorder;brain oxytocin;gut-brain axis; pharmacological treatment;Alzheimer’s disease
Dr. Gustavo Provens
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Neurosciences, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (NEUROFARBA) – Pharmacology and Toxicology Session, University of Florence (UNIFI), 50139 Florence, Italy
Interests: Neuropharmacology, animal behavior; brain histamine; brain carbonic anhydrases; oxytocin; memory; food intake stress, Azheimer's disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Oxytocin is a hypothalamic hormone that is directly secreted into the brain and reaches blood circulation through the neurohypophysis. Oxytocin modulates a wide range of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator activities as well as physiologic functions and behaviors, including social interactions, social memory response to social stimuli, decision-making, feeding behavior, emotional reactivity, aggressiveness, maternal behavior, sexual behavior, and so on. Thus, the oxytocinergic system continues to be the focus of intense exploratory research in animals and humans, as a possible therapeutic agent for the treatment of certain neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and anxiety-related disorders. The potential use of oxytocin in these disorders is attracting growing interest since numerous beneficial properties are ascribed to this neuropeptide.

This Special Issue will collect evidence about oxytocin as a research tool and therapeutic agent to highlight the need for further investigations that might contribute to the development of novel, safe, and successful therapies.

Subtopics:

The oxytocin receptor system and signaling

Different populations of oxytocin neurons: magnocellular and parvocellular oxytocin neurons

Central versus peripheral oxytocin system

Oxytocin in neuropsychiatric disorders

Oxytocin and addiction

Oxytocin and autism

Oxytocin and control of eating and energy metabolism

Oxytocin and sexual behavior

Oxytocin and stress and aggressiveness

Dr. Adele Romano
Dr. Gustavo Provens
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • oxytocin
  • oxytocin receptor
  • magnocellular
  • parvocellular
  • anxiety
  • autism
  • eating disorders
  • mood disorders
  • neuropsychiatric disorders
  • sexual behavior
  • maternal behavior
  • eating behavior
  • stress
  • successful therapies

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview
Oxytocin and Addiction: Potential Glutamatergic Mechanisms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2405; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22052405 - 27 Feb 2021
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Recently, oxytocin (OXT) has been investigated for its potential therapeutic role in addiction. OXT has been found to diminish various drug-seeking and drug-induced behaviors. Although its behavioral effects are well-established, there is not much consensus on how this neuropeptide exerts its effects. Previous [...] Read more.
Recently, oxytocin (OXT) has been investigated for its potential therapeutic role in addiction. OXT has been found to diminish various drug-seeking and drug-induced behaviors. Although its behavioral effects are well-established, there is not much consensus on how this neuropeptide exerts its effects. Previous research has given thought to how dopamine (DA) may be involved in oxytocinergic mechanisms, but there has not been as strong of a focus on the role that glutamate (Glu) has. The glutamatergic system is critical for the processing of rewards and the disruption of glutamatergic projections produces the behaviors seen in drug addicts. We introduce the idea that OXT has direct effects on Glu transmission within the reward processing pathway. Thus, OXT may reduce addictive behaviors by restoring abnormal drug-induced changes in the glutamatergic system and in its interactions with other neurotransmitters. This review offers insight into the mechanisms through which a potentially viable therapeutic target, OXT, could be used to reduce addiction-related behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapeutic Potential of Targeting the Oxytocinergic System)
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Open AccessReview
Oxytocin Signaling as a Target to Block Social Defeat-Induced Increases in Drug Abuse Reward
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2372; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22052372 - 27 Feb 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
There is huge scientific interest in the neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) due to its putative capacity to modulate a wide spectrum of physiological and cognitive processes including motivation, learning, emotion, and the stress response. The present review seeks to increase the understanding of the [...] Read more.
There is huge scientific interest in the neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) due to its putative capacity to modulate a wide spectrum of physiological and cognitive processes including motivation, learning, emotion, and the stress response. The present review seeks to increase the understanding of the role of OXT in an individual’s vulnerability or resilience with regard to developing a substance use disorder. It places specific attention on the role of social stress as a risk factor of addiction, and explores the hypothesis that OXT constitutes a homeostatic response to stress that buffers against its negative impact. For this purpose, the review summarizes preclinical and clinical literature regarding the effects of OXT in different stages of the addiction cycle. The current literature affirms that a well-functioning oxytocinergic system has protective effects such as the modulation of the initial response to drugs of abuse, the attenuation of the development of dependence, the blunting of drug reinstatement and a general anti-stress effect. However, this system is dysregulated if there is continuous drug use or chronic exposure to stress. In this context, OXT is emerging as a promising pharmacotherapy to restore its natural beneficial effects in the organism and to help rebalance the functions of the addicted brain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapeutic Potential of Targeting the Oxytocinergic System)
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