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Love Hormone From Insect May Inhibit Preterm Labor; Promotes Baby Bonding

Update Date: Feb 04, 2017 07:44 AM EST

A neuropeptide from insect exhibiting the pharmacological profile of love hormone, known as oxytocin, was isolated by a team of scientists. Inotocin, the oxytocin-like neuropeptide, could be used as as a lead molecule to develop drugs that could inhibit preterm labor.

Love Hormone From Insects

Researchers from Austria, Australia, Czech Republic, Denmark and England introduced a small chemical modification into the insect and were able to isolate a neuropeptide that is very similar to love hormone and vasopressin.

Christian Gruber, lead author from MedUni Vienna's Institute of Pharmacology, said that the ligand was tested on human uterine tissue. It effectively inhibited muscular contractions. Now, they are looking into making the love hormone an active lead molecule.

According to Science Daily, vasopressin, in combination with love hormone oxytocin, can influence blood supply to the uterus and uterine contraction during child birth. Therefore, an inhibitor could be given to patients to high risk patients to prevent preterm labor.

Love Hormone And Baby Bonding

A new study aims to see how the love hormone could help mothers bond with their babies. Around ten to 20 percent of new moms have to deal with postpartum depression which could greatly affect the newborn's development.

Nancy Aaron Jones, Ph.D., a child psychologist at Florida Atlantic University's Department of Psychology and Behavioral Nueroscience, and her team got urine samples from mom and baby to measure love hormone oxytocin level. They want to know how the level of this hormone changes the mother's feeding and touch pattern and the baby's reaction as well.

Aside from monitoring love hormone level in the urine, the baby's brain waves were also monitored using a specially designed EEG cap. Jones found out that mothers who breast feed are bonding well. The effect of love hormone to babies showed that they have similar physiology as mothers who are not depressed.

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