Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A membrane protein controlling social memory and maternal care in mice.

Oxytocin is gaining increasing recognition as a master regulator of affiliative behaviors in mice as well as humans. Duo Jin et al. now show that genetically knocking out CD38, a transmembrane glycoprotein required for oxytocin secretion by axon terminals in the hypothalamus, causes defective maternal nurturing and social behavior in male and female mice. Replacement of oxytocin by subcutaneous injection or lentiviral-vector-mediated delivery of human CD38 in the hypothalamus rescues social memory and maternal care.

Yet another molecule the genetic engineers might one day dink with to make us more kind and gentle people??

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