Oxytocin has therapeutic effects on cancer, a hypothesis

Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Oct 15;741:112-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.07.053. Epub 2014 Aug 2.

Abstract

Oxytocin (OT) is the first peptide hormone structurally assessed and chemically synthesized in biologically active form. This hormone acts as an important factor in a human reproductive system particularly during pregnancy and lactation in women. So far, different therapeutic roles for OT have been identified as a spectrum from central and peripheral actions on male and female reproductive systems, circulatory system, musculoskeletal system, etc. Some in vitro and in vivo studies also revealed that OT is responsible for bivariate biological functions involved in cancer as following. By activating OT receptor in tumoral cells, OT enacts as a growth regulator, whether activator or inhibitor. Regarding the increase of OT in some conditions such as breastfeeding, exercise, and multiparity, we can relate the effect of these conditions on cancer with OT effects. Based on this hypothesis, we present a review on the effects of this neuropeptide on various types of cancer and also the influence of these conditions on the same cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; Neuropeptide; Oxytocin; Review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Oxytocin / metabolism*
  • Oxytocin / pharmacology
  • Oxytocin / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Oxytocin / agonists
  • Receptors, Oxytocin / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Receptors, Oxytocin
  • Oxytocin