Journal article

The role of oxytocin and regulation of uterine oxytocin receptors in pregnant marsupials

LJ Parry, RAD Bathgate

Experimental Physiology | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2000

Abstract

The oxytocin-like peptide of most Australian marsupials is mesotocin, which differs from oxytocin by a single amino acid. This substitution has no functional significance as both peptides have equivalent affinity for and biological activity on the marsupial oxytocin-like receptor. A role for mesotocin in marsupial parturition has been demonstrated in the tammar wallaby where plasma mesotocin concentrations increase less than one minute before birth. Infusion of an oxytocin receptor antagonist at the end of gestation disrupts normal parturition, probably by preventing mesotocin from stimulating uterine contractions. In the absence of mesotocin receptor activation, a peripartum surge in prosta..

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