Shedding Light on Oxytocin, the Happy Hormone

summary: A newly developed fluorescent sensor is capable of detecting oxytocin in living animals.

Source: Osaka University

The twinkling lights make the city view even more beautiful at night, and can create a sense of romance and happiness. But what do those feelings look like inside the brain?

Recently, researchers in Japan demonstrated that the power of light can also be used to monitor the release of the “happy hormone” oxytocin (OT), a peptide produced in the brain associated with feelings of happiness and love. Is.

In a new study published in nature’s wayResearchers led by Osaka University report the development of a novel fluorescent sensor to detect OT in living animals. OT plays an important role in a variety of physiological processes, including emotions, appetite, childbirth and aging.

Impairment of OT signaling is known to be associated with neurological disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, and a better understanding of OT dynamics in the brain may provide insight into these disorders and contribute to potential avenues of treatment.

Previous methods of detecting and monitoring OT have been limited in their ability to accurately reflect dynamic changes in extracellular OT levels over time. Thus, the Osaka University-led research team sought to create an efficient tool to visualize OT release in the brain.

“Using the oxytocin receptor from medaka fish as a scaffold, we fabricated a highly specific, ultrasensitive green fluorescent OT sensor called mTRIA.otThe study’s lead author, Daisuke Ino, says.

“Binding of extracellular OT increases the fluorescence intensity of mTRIA”otallows us to monitor extracellular OT levels in real time.”

Research team performs cell culture analysis to test mTRIA’s performanceot, Post-MTRIA Applicationsot Allowed for the successful measurement of OT dynamics using fluorescence recording techniques in the brains of living animals.

It shows the outline of a head
OT plays an important role in a variety of physiological processes, including emotions, appetite, childbirth and aging. Image is in public domain

“We examined the effects of potential factors that may influence OT dynamics, including social interaction, anesthesia, feeding, and aging,” Ino says.

The research team’s analysis revealed variability in OT dynamics in the brain that depended on the animals’ behavioral and physiological conditions. Interactions with other animals, exposure to anesthesia, food deprivation, and aging all corresponded to specific patterns of brain OT levels.

These findings indicate that mTRIAot may serve as a useful tool to enhance our understanding of OT dynamics in the brain. Since abnormalities in OT signaling are known to be associated with psychiatric disorders, this tool could pave the way for the development of novel therapeutics to treat these diseases.

Additionally, the researchers found that the mTRIA spine used to engineer the OT sensor may also serve as a scaffold for making sensors for other important brain hormones and neurotransmitters.

About this oxytocin research news

Author: Press Office
Source: Osaka University
contact: Press Office – Osaka University
image: Image is in public domain

Basic Research: open access.
,A fluorescent sensor for real-time measurement of extracellular oxytocin dynamics in the brainBy Daisuke Ino et al. nature’s way

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A fluorescent sensor for real-time measurement of extracellular oxytocin dynamics in the brain

Oxytocin (OT), a hypothalamic neuropeptide that acts as a neuromodulator in the brain, modulates the behavior of a variety of animals.

However, the relationship between brain OT dynamics and complex animal behaviors remains largely elusive, partly due to the lack of appropriate technology for its real-time recording in vivo.

Here, we describe MTRIAotA G-protein-coupled receptor-based green fluorescent OT sensor with a large dynamic range, suitable affinity, ligand specificity for OT orthologs, minimal effect on downstream signaling and long-term fluorescence stability.

By combining viral gene delivery and fiber photometry-mediated fluorescence measurements, we can generate MTRIA. demonstrate the usefulness ofot For real-time detection of brain OT dynamics in living rats.

mtriaot-mediated measurement reflects the variability of OT dynamics depending on the behavioral context and physiological condition of an animal. mtriaot will potentially enable the analysis of OT dynamics in a variety of physiological and pathological processes.

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