Oxytocin model of formation of psychotic symptoms and its implication for research concerning oxytocinergic pathway in schizophrenia
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Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii
Submission date: 2013-04-29
Final revision date: 2013-07-10
Acceptance date: 2013-07-14
Publication date: 2014-02-20
Corresponding author
Justyna Anna Holka-Pokorska   

Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii, Sobieskiego, 9, 02-957 Warszawa, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2014;48(1):19-33
The number of data confirming the dysregulation of the oxytocinergic pathway in schizophrenia is increasing. The development of the above branch of knowledge began to evolve alongside the mainstream of studies concerning gene polymorphisms for dopaminergic, glutamatergic and serotoninergic systems. Both experimental studies and clinical trials have demonstrated an antipsychotic effect of oxytocin. Starting with the pioneering neuroendocrine-behavioral experiment which demonstrated that oxytocin nasal spray increased the feeling of trust in healthy volunteers, dozens of experiments were carried out confirming the modulatory role of oxytocin for the recognition of emotion, social memory, pro-social behaviors, collaborative behaviors and behaviors that require generosity and altruism. According to the ‘oxytocin model’ of development of psychotic symptoms – oxytocinergic system dysregulation may affect the incorrect attribution of meaning of emotional information from the environment. This can be manifested in the form of social cognition dysfunction and leads to abnormal social behavior as social withdrawal, isolation and formulation of paranoid delusions. From the point of view of clinical psychiatry an urgent need for research on selective oxytocin receptor agonists appeared, as they may be used in the treatment of diseases which manifest in social withdrawal, lack of trust and the absence of affiliation behavior- as in schizophrenia..
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