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Recent Advances in Central Oxytocin Research: Implications for Psychiatric Drug Development

Recent Advances in Central Oxytocin Research: Implications for Psychiatric Drug Development

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The New York Academy of Sciences

Organizers: Robert H. Ring, Wyeth Research; Becky Brockel, AstraZeneca

Oxytocin (OT) is an evolutionarily ancient peptide that is most familiarly associated with its classic hormonal functions during birth and lactation. Often underappreciated, however, are the sites of OT synthesis and release within the central nervous system (CNS), where this same peptide acts as a neurotransmitter to regulate a diverse range of CNS functions. This symposium aims to provide the Academy and the BPDG with an introduction to the central oxytocinergic system, and highlight recent advances in the field that are providing new insights into the therapeutic potential of modulating this system for the treatment of human CNS disorders (e.g. anxiety, schizophrenia, autism). Presentations will highlight recent results from both animal and human studies, which feature a variety of different scientific techniques used to examine oxytocin effects on cognition, social behaviors and anxiety.

The BPDG at the New York Academy of Sciences represents a diverse group of scientists and others with an interest in biochemistry, molecular biology, biomedical research, and related areas. Members are from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and university and medical center research facilities across the Eastern United States. The group also serves as the Biochemical Topical Group for the American Chemical Society's New York Section. The purpose of the BPDG is to bring together diverse institutions and communities, industrial and academic, to share new and relevant information at the frontiers of research and development.


1:00 – 1:10 PM
Robert H. Ring, Wyeth Research, Princeton, NJ

1:15 – 1:55 PM
Oxytocin is a Regulator of Emotionality, Stress Coping, and Social Behaviors: Manipulations Within the Rat Brain
Oliver J. Bosch, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany

2:00 – 2:40 PM
Oxytocin and Vasopressin: Tales from a Monogamous Mouse
C. Sue Carter, The Brain Body Center Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL

2:45 – 3:15 PM
Coffee Break

3:20 – 4:00 PM
Intravenous and Intranasal Oxytocin Targets Social Cognition and Repetitive Behavior Domains in Autism: Behavioral and Functional Imaging Findings
Eric Hollander, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, NY

4:05 – 4:45 PM
Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Oxytocin Receptor Agonists for Treating Human CNS Disorders: A Focus on Anxiety Disorders
Robert H. Ring, Wyeth Research, Princeton, NJ

4:50 – 5:00 PM
Closing Remarks
Becky Brockel, AstraZeneca


Oxytocin is a Regulator of Emotionality, Stress Coping, and Social Behaviors: Manipulations Within the Rat Brain
Oliver J. Bosch, Inga D. Neumann,University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany

The nonapeptide oxytocin is released within the brain as a neurotransmitter/neuromodulator in response to various emotional and physical stressors. For example, the swim stress-induced rise in local release of oxytocin in the limbic central amygdala is involved in the regulation of active vs. passive stress coping style. Oxytocin is also released within the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) during mating in males, resulting in reduced anxiety levels up to 4 hours. This can be mimi