Navigation Links
Does a peptide affect the heart's response to social isolation?

A team of researchers investigating the effects of oxytocin, a peptide produced by the brain that regulates social behavior, has found that it can prevent detrimental cardiac responses in adult female animals exposed to social isolation. The findings may provide further insight into how these mechanisms affect humans.

The study was conducted by Angela J. Grippo, C. Sue Carter and Stephen W. Porges, all with the Department of Psychiatry and Brain-Body Center at University of Illinois at Chicago and is titled Chronic Oxytocin Treatment Mediates Heart Rate Responses Following Social Isolation. Dr. Grippo is presenting the team’s findings at the 120th annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS; www.The-APS.org), being held as part of the Experimental Biology (EB ?7) conference. More than 12,000 scientific researchers will attend the gathering being held April 28-May 2, 2007 at the Washington, DC Convention Center.

Background

The social environment plays an important role in regulating both behavior and cardiovascular function in humans. Negative social interactions, such as loneliness or social isolation, may increase the risk of developing depression and anxiety as well as heart disease.

Prairie voles (ochrogaster) are small rodents that demonstrate features of social interactions similar to humans and therefore provide a useful animal model for investigating how the social environment influences behavior and cardiac function. Earlier studies by this research team showed that when prairie voles were isolated from their families, they displayed behaviors similar to depression and cardiovascular changes indicating a possible increased risk of heart disease (including elevated resting heart rate, reduced heart rate variability, and reduced parasympathetic regulation of the heart).

This study examines whether oxytocin plays a role in the heart’s detrimental response s to social isolation.

The Study: Summary of Methodology

Adult female prairie voles were placed under anesthesia and implanted with wireless, radio frequency transmitters. The animals were subsequently exposed to either social isolation or pairing with a female sibling (control conditions) for four weeks. They were treated with oxytocin or saline (control solution) daily for 14 days during the third and fourth week of the four-week isolation period.

Electrocardiographic parameters (heart rate and heart rhythms) were recorded using the radio frequency transmitter. Following the period of isolation or pairing, all animals were exposed to a mild social stressor (a five minute social interaction test with an unfamiliar animal).

Results

The researchers found that:

  • the animals exposed to isolation had an increase in heart rate and a reduction in heart rate variability. The administration of oxytocin significantly improved both heart rate and heart rate variability;

  • for the animals exposed to isolation, oxytocin significantly reduced the heart rate response following the five-minute resident intruder social interaction test;

  • for the isolated animals, oxytocin significantly improved parasympathetic regulation of the heart; and

  • for the paired prairie voles (control group) oxytocin did not alter the cardiac responses.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that oxytocin can prevent damaging cardiac changes in adult female prairie voles exposed to social isolation. While there are limitations to the study, including the lack of spontaneous puberty and estrous cycles in female prairie voles (unlike their human counterpart), the results serve as a springboard into better understanding the mechanisms that underlie the relations between social behavior and cardiac function in humans.
'"/>

Source:American Physiological Society


Related biology news :

1. Product improves peptide identification for proteomics research
2. Discovery clarifies role of peptide in biological clock
3. Frog peptides block HIV in lab study
4. New peptide antibiotic isolated from American oyster
5. Defense peptide found in primates may block some human HIV transmissions
6. Scientists identify 36 genes, 100 neuropeptides in honey bee brains
7. Synthetic peptide targets latent papilloma virus infections
8. UCLA AIDS Institute researchers find a peptide that encourages HIV infection
9. Cytoplasm affects the number of vertebrae in carp-goldfish clones
10. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
11. A new study examines how shared pathogens affect host populations

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/25/2016)... 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today ... (JFK) International Airport, New York City , to ... attempting to enter the United States using ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. ... JFK during January 2016. --> pilot testing of ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... 22, 2016 ... the "Global Biometrics Market in Retail ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has ... Biometrics Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" ... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... MINNETONKA, Minn. , Jan. 20, 2016   ... that supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is ... in 2015. MedNet,s significant achievements are the result of ... of) iMedNet eClinical , it,s comprehensive, ... --> --> Key MedNet growth ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... - New FDA action date of July ... action date of July 22, 2016   --> ... 22, 2016   - Lifitegrast has the ... for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease ... to be the only product approved in the U.S. in the past decade indicated for ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... takes place February 5-6 at the University’s student center, Kehr Union, located ... as workshops and competitions for ample networking, learning and collaborating opportunities. , ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016   ... a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of ... the 18 th Annual BIO CEO & Investor ... EST in New York, NY . ... provide an update on the ongoing clinical trial of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual ... of intellectual property, today provided an update on the ... District of Texas and announcing ... Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and ... was initiated on only certain claims of two of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: