It is a key hormone for breastfeeding, childbirth, but also love in general and even social ties. In biology, oxytocin is also known to regulate male ejaculation, to intervene in the transport of spermatozoa and in the production of testosterone, the masculinizing hormone par excellence.
In a new study, published in the journal Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (Source 1), researchers have observed another unsuspected phenomenon. Oxytocin would thus have a restorative function of the heart, especially after a heart attack.
In experiments with zebrafish and human cell cultures, oxytocin was reported to stimulate the migration and development of stem cells derived from the outer layer of the heart (pericardium) into the myocardium, muscle cardiac.
“Here we show that oxytocin, a neuropeptide also known as the love hormone, is capable of activating cardiac repair mechanisms in injured hearts in zebrafish and human cell cultures, opening the door to potential new therapies for human heart regeneration”, rejoiced Dr. Dr. Aitor Aguirre, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan State University (USA) and co-author of the study.