LC-MS

  • What is Oxytocin? - Chromatography Tests Levels in Dogs

What is Oxytocin? - Chromatography Tests Levels in Dogs

Sep 11 2019 Read 818 Times

Oxytocin is a peptide and neurotransmitter, but it is so much more than that rather cold description. The ‘love hormone’ is how is appears in many popular magazine articles and newspapers, as it appears to be active when we are in love. But it is not just in humans that oxytocin is active - it is present in all mammals.

A paper published in the journal Molecules - Development and Validation of a Simple LC-MS Method for the Quantification of Oxytocin in Dog Saliva - discusses the role of the molecule in dogs and how a new chromatography method has been developed to quantify the levels of oxytocin. Let’s take a closer look at oxytocin.

The love hormone

Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter and a hormone. A neurotransmitter is simply a chemical that is released by a nerve to stimulate another nerve or a muscle. They allow signals to travel throughout the nervous system in the body. Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus in the brain. It is then transported to the pituitary gland. It is the hormone and neurotransmitter that is most associated with social interaction and plays a role in reproduction.

Research has shown that when people hug and kiss, their levels of oxytocin increase - which is where its moniker as the’ love hormone’ comes about. It plays a role in how we pair and bond with people - playing a part in how mothers and new-born infant’s bond, it is also linked with milk release. Levels of the hormone also increase during sex and is behind how we trust both individuals and groups. But oxytocin plays a complex role in how we behave, because the hormone reacts differently between members of a group. It allows us to favour some members and act against other members.

Testing dog’s saliva - it must be love

Researchers are interested to find out the role of oxytocin in other mammals, including dogs. Knowing more about the role of oxytocin in dogs would allow the pet care industry to understand more about a dog’s response to human interaction and help the relationship between dogs and their owners. The first step is to develop a method that allows oxytocin levels to be measured easily with a non-invasive test.

The researchers behind the paper referenced above developed a chromatography method that can measure oxytocin in a dog’s saliva. The method uses liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Chromatography is used to analyse many different animal samples - analysing horse samples is discussed in the article, A Marker-based Method to Detect Phosphorothioated Oligonucleotides in Equine Plasma Using Spectroscopic Analysis. The team report that the method they developed and validated is sensitive and reliable over a large concentration range. They conclude that:

‘The accurate and sensitive method reported here could be a promising tool to facilitate studies aiming to use OT as a biomarker for human–animal interaction studies.’

Reader comments

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Post a Comment




Digital Edition

Chromatography Today - March 2020

March 2020

In This Edition Articles - Elimination of the Sample Solvent Effect when Analysing Water Solutions of Basic Peptides by HILIC - Method Development and Validation of Simultaneous Determinatio...

View all digital editions

Events

ISMM 2020 - EVENT CANCELLED

Jun 07 2020 Taipei, Taiwan

HPLC 2020 - EVENT CANCELLED

Jun 20 2020 San Diego, CA, USA

IMSC 2020

Aug 29 2020 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

ISC 2020

Sep 21 2020 Budapest, Hungary

MSB 2020 - NEW DATES

Sep 27 2020 Saint-Malo, France

View all events