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February 1960

Recent Progress in Oxytocin Research.

Author Affiliations

American Lecture Series, No. 360. By B. Berde, M.D. Price, $4.75. Pp. 110, with 37 illustrations. Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 301-327 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield, Ill., 1959.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(2):344-345. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270140166025

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This short monograph summarizes the major events following the discovery of oxytocic activity in posterior pituitary gland extracts in 1906, through its separation, purification, and finally its synthesis in 1953, a Nobel Prize achievement. Subsequently, the synthesis of a series of analogues has provided compounds of greater potency than synthetic oxytocin (Syntocinon) as well as some that may be competitive antagonists. Evidence for the formation of the hormone in the hypothalamus and its migration to the posterior pituitary for storage and release is discussed. The probable role of oxytocin in labor is reviewed. The role of oxytocin in lactation suggests several clinical applications not yet in common use. Its blood pressure depressor and diuretic actions indicate areas of physiologic significance in the male. "This short review makes no claims to completeness," but is well written, nicely illustrated, and provides 21 pages of references for those who wish to pursue numerous