Oxytocin and Vasopressin, and the GABA Developmental Shift During Labor and Birth: Friends or Foes?

Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Yehezkel Ben-Ari


Oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are usually associated with sociability and reduced stress for the former and antidiuretic agent associated with severe stress and pathological conditions for the latter. Both OT and AVP play major roles during labor and birth. Recent contradictory studies suggest that they might exert different roles on the GABA excitatory/inhibitory developmental shift. We reported (Tyzio et al., 2006) that at birth, OT exerts a neuro-protective action mediated by an abrupt reduction of intracellular chloride levels ([Cl-]i) that are high in utero, reinforcing GABAergic inhibition and modulating the generation of the first synchronized patterns of cortical networks. This reduction of [Cl-]i levels is abolished in rodent models of Fragile X Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders, and its restoration attenuates the severity of the pathological sequels, stressing the importance of the shift at birth (Tyzio et al., 2014). In contrast, Kaila and co-workers (Spoljaric et al., 2017) reported excitatory GABA actions before and after birth that are modulated by AVP but not by OT, challenging both the developmental shift and the roles of OT. Here, I analyze the differences between these studies and suggest that the r...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Cerebral Cortex
Fragile X Syndrome
General Adaptation Syndrome
Labor (Childbirth)
GABA Agents

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