Make pituitary hormone
Synthesis for the first time of a hormone from the pituitary, often
called the body’s master gland and famous source of the anti-arthritis
ACTH, is announced by Dr. Vincent du Vigneaud and associates of
Cornell University Medical College at the New York Hospital-Cornell
Medical Center in New York.
Synthesis of a second hormone from this same gland has almost
been accomplished, Dr. du Vigneaud also reports.
The first hormone is oxytocin, important in childbirth and lactation.
The second is vasopressin, the blood pressure raising and antidiuretic
hormone of the pituitary.
Oxytocin is known to facilitate childbirth and
breast-feeding, and has more recently been
investigated for its role in maternal behavior.
Oxytocin gets its name from the Greek word for “rapid birth.” Its
effect in causing contractions of the uterus make it important in childbirth, while it also influences release of milk in the mammary glands.
The achievement of the synthesis of oxytocin establishes the structure of this hormone and opens the door to many new investigations
in biochemistry, pharmacology and physiology, which should lead to
a better understanding of the function of this important principle,
Dr. du Vigneaud pointed out. Such a synthesis may also provide an
unlimited source of the oxytocic hormone for possible expansion of
its use in clinical medicine, particularly in obstetrics, and in veterinary
medicine, he said.
Oxytocin goes from birthing drug to ‘love hormone’
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