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Dev Neurobiol. 2017 Feb;77(2):143-157. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22403. Epub 2016 Jun 6.

Oxytocin receptor dynamics in the brain across development and species.

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Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Program in Neuroscience, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.


Oxytocin (OXT) signaling through the OXT receptor plays a significant role in a variety of physiological processes throughout the lifespan. OXT's effects depend on the tissue distribution of the receptor. This tissue specificity is dynamic and changes across development, and also varies with sex, experience, and species. The purpose of this review is to highlight these themes with examples from several life stages and several species. Important knowledge gaps will also be emphasized. Understanding the effective sites of action for OXT via its receptor will help refine hypotheses about the roles of this important neuropeptide in the experience-dependent development and expression of species-typical social behavior.


OT; OT-R; OTR; OXT; OXT-R; OXTR; ontogeny; ornithine vasotocin; oxytocin; oxytocin receptor

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