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Psychophysiology. 2010 Jul 1;47(4):625-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00968.x. Epub 2010 Jan 22.

An investigation of plasma and salivary oxytocin responses in breast- and formula-feeding mothers of infants.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7175, USA. karen_grewen@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Oxytocin (OT) is a peptide increasingly studied in relation to human social interactions, affiliation, and clinical disorders. Studies are constrained by use of invasive blood draws and would benefit from a reliable salivary OT assay. Our goals were to examine feasibility of salivary OT measurement, compare salivary to plasma OT responses in 12 breast- and 8 formula-feeding mothers, and assess the degree of correlation between plasma and salivary OT. Using a commercial EIA kit, we measured OT in 5 saliva and 7 plasma samples in a protocol designed to elicit changes in OT (Rest, Infant Interaction, Stress, Feeding). Breast-feeders had higher OT levels than formula-feeders across all conditions in plasma (+36%) and saliva (+23%). OT levels and ranges were similar in saliva and plasma, with slightly greater variance in saliva. Concurrently sampled plasma and salivary OT were correlated at end of Baseline Rest (r=+.59, p=.022) and Post-Stress Recovery (r=+.59, p=.025). These data suggest that salivary OT assay is feasible, and will be of value where plasma samples are not possible. Validation with larger samples is needed.

PMID:
20102537
PMCID:
PMC3232406
DOI:
10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00968.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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