Alcohol Consumption Decreases Oxytocin Neurons in the Anterior Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus in Prairie Voles.
The influence of low-dose oxytocin perfusion (32 mIU/min) on ACTH and cortisol plasma levels was tested in 8 normal male volunteers (age 18-26). The 1-h oxytocin perfusion periods were preceded and followed by two 1-h saline control periods. During the first period, there was a slight ACTH concentration decrease in 4 individuals. Oxytocin perfusion induced a clear-cut plasma ACTH decrease in 7 out of the volunteers, and a slight decrease in the remaining one. During the second saline infusion, there was a marked ACTH increase in 7 out of the volunteers, and a weak increase in one (P less than 0.0001). A similar pattern was observed in the plasma cortisol levels (P less than 0.00001). Furthermore, a control saline perfusion was performed in 4 of the 8 volunteers and compared to the 4 corresponding oxytocin perfusion tests: the differences between the 2 sets of tests was highly significant both for ACTH (P less than 0.003) and for cortisol (P less than 0.007). Lastly, the reproducibility of this inhibitory influence was retested in 4 volunteers: the tests were repeated under the same conditions 7 days later. There were no global differences between the 2 sets of tests either for ACTH (NS) or for cortisol (NS). ACTH and cortisol concentration fluctuations during the period between each set of tests were not significant. The following variations were measured for ACTH (NS) and for cortisol (NS). The present results confirm the inhibitory influence of low-dose oxytocin perfusion on ACTH and cortisol levels in normal males.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)