Oxytocin

Oxytocin is released as a consequence of depolarisation of oxytocinergic cells of the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus. Propagation of action potentials along the hypothalamiconeural-hypophyseal tract to posterior pituitary gland nerve terminals leads to calcium influx, which stimulates release of oxytocin by exocytosis. Release is stimulated by suckling at the breast leading to nipple stimulation, activation of stretch receptors in the walls of the uterus and vagina, pregnancy and at parturition.

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