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Oxytocin (OXT) and vasopressin (AVP) are related neuropeptides that exert a wide range of effects on general health, homeostasis, development, reproduction, adaptability, cognition, social and nonsocial behaviors. The two peptides are mainly of hypothalamic origin and execute their peripheral and central physiological roles via OXT and AVP receptors, which are members of the G protein-coupled receptor family. These receptors, largely distributed in the body, are abundantly expressed in the hippocampus, a brain region particularly vulnerable to stress exposure and various lesions. OXT and AVP have important roles in the hippocampus, by modulating important processes like neuronal excitability, network oscillatory activity, synaptic plasticity, and social recognition memory. This chapter includes an overview regarding OXT and AVP structure, synthesis, receptor distribution, and functions, focusing on their relationship with the hippocampus and mechanisms by which they influence hippocampal activity. Brief information regarding hippocampal structure and susceptibility to lesions is also provided. The roles of OXT and AVP in neurodevelopment and adult central nervous system function and disorders are highlighted, discussing their potential use as targeted therapeutic tools in neuropsychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Ana-Maria Zagrean, Ioana-Antoaneta Georgescu, Mara Ioana Iesanu, Rosana-Bristena Ionescu, Robert Mihai Haret, Anca Maria Panaitescu, Leon Zagrean. Oxytocin and vasopressin in the hippocampus. Vitamins and hormones. 2022;118:83-127

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PMID: 35180939

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