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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Administration of oxytocin affects vasopressin V2 receptor and aquaporin-2 gene expression in the rat.

Oxytocin (OT) binds to the vasopressin V2 receptor (V2R) because of its structural similarity to arginine vasopressin (AVP). Though the affinity of OT for V2R is low, it is known that OT causes antidiuresis. To clarify the effect of OT as an agonist of V2R, we investigated the influence of acute elevation of plasma OT levels on the rat mRNA expression of V2R and aquaporin-2 (AQP2), the water channel regulated by V2R. The plasma OT level increased from 11.1+/-1.6 pg/ml to 331.0+/-67.9 pg/ml by 1 h after subcutaneousinjection of 20 microg OT. V2R mRNA expression decreased to 68.3+/-4.1% of the control at 3 h, and AQP2 mRNA expression increased to 239.3+/-26.8% of the control at 6 h. The plasma AVP level did not change significantly during the experiment. The influence of a subcutaneous injection of 20 microg OT on V2R and AQP2 mRNA expression is comparable to that of 10 microg AVP that we documented in the previous study. In conclusion, OT can downregulate V2R mRNA expression and upregulate AQP2 mRNA expression in the collecting duct as an agonist of the V2R like AVP.[1]


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