Regulation of lymphokine production by arginine vasopressin and oxytocin: modulation of lymphocyte function by neurohypophyseal hormones

J Immunol. 1985 Aug;135(2 Suppl):773s-775s.


The neurohypophyseal hormones arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin are capable of replacing the interleukin 2 (IL 2) requirement for T cell mitogen induction of gamma-interferon (IFN-gamma) in mouse spleen cell cultures. The structural basis for the helper signal by these hormones resides in the six N-terminal amino acids of AVP based on the relative ability of AVP, oxytocin, vasotocin, and pressinoic acid (AVP six N-terminal amino acid peptide) to help in IFN-gamma induction. AVP and pressinoic acid provide maximal help at 10(-10) M, while oxytocin and vasotocin with isoleucine at position three in place of phenylalanine are 10-fold less effective. An AVP competitive antagonist of vasopressor activity blocks the AVP helper signal for production of IFN-gamma, while having no effect on IL 2 help. This suggests that the AVP helper signal operates via binding to an AVP vasopressor-type receptor on lymphocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine Vasopressin / physiology*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-2 / pharmacology
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology
  • Oxytocin / physiology*
  • Peptides, Cyclic / pharmacology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Interleukin-2
  • Lymphokines
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Oxytocin
  • Interferon-gamma