Oxytocin administration attenuates atherosclerosis and inflammation in Watanabe Heritable Hyperlipidemic rabbits

Angela Szeto, Maria A. Rossetti, Armando J Mendez, Crystal M. Noller, Edward E. Herderick, Julie A. Gonzales, Neil Schneiderman, Philip McCabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Oxytocin (OT) is a neurohypophyseal peptide traditionally associated with female reproductive functioning, and more recently with prosocial behavior. OT and its receptor are also expressed in the heart and vascular tissue and play a role in cardiovascular homeostasis. In vitro, it has been demonstrated that OT decreases NADPH-dependent superoxide production and pro-inflammatory cytokine release from vascular endothelial cells and macrophages, suggesting that OT may attenuate pathophysiological processes involved with atherosclerotic lesion formation. The present study sought to determine the effect of chronic exogenous OT administration on inflammation and atherosclerosis in an animal model of dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis, the Watanabe Heritable Hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbit. Twenty-two, 3-month-old WHHLs were surgically implanted with osmotic mini-pumps containing OT (. n=. 11) or vehicle (. n=. 11), and then were individually housed for the entire study. Blood and 24-h urine samples were taken at baseline and after 8 (midpoint) and 16 (endpoint) weeks of treatment. At endpoint, the aortas and visceral fat samples were dissected and stored for analyses. There were no group differences in body weight, serum lipids, plasma/urinary measures of oxidative stress, plasma cortisol or urinary catecholamines over the 16-week treatment. OT-treated animals exhibited significantly lower plasma C-reactive protein levels at midpoint and endpoint and developed significantly less atherosclerosis in the thoracic aorta relative to vehicle control animals at endpoint (. p<. 0.05). Cytokine gene expression from visceral adipose tissue samples suggested that there was a decrease in adipose tissue inflammation in the OT-treated group compared to the vehicle control group, however these differences were not statistically significant. These results suggest that chronic peripheral OT administration can inhibit inflammation and atherosclerotic lesion development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-693
Number of pages9
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Fingerprint

Oxytocin
Atherosclerosis
Rabbits
Inflammation
Intra-Abdominal Fat
Cytokines
Posterior Pituitary Hormones
Oxytocin Receptors
Dyslipidemias
Thoracic Aorta
NADP
Superoxides
C-Reactive Protein
Catecholamines
Blood Vessels
Aorta
Hydrocortisone
Adipose Tissue
Blood Proteins
Oxidative Stress

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • C-reactive protein
  • Inflammation
  • Oxytocin
  • WHHL rabbit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems

Cite this

Oxytocin administration attenuates atherosclerosis and inflammation in Watanabe Heritable Hyperlipidemic rabbits. / Szeto, Angela; Rossetti, Maria A.; Mendez, Armando J; Noller, Crystal M.; Herderick, Edward E.; Gonzales, Julie A.; Schneiderman, Neil; McCabe, Philip.

In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 38, No. 5, 01.05.2013, p. 685-693.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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