Do direct nose-to-brain pathways underlie intranasal oxytocin-induced changes in regional cerebral blood flow in humans?

D. Martins, N. Mazibuko, F. Zelaya, S. Vasilakopoulou, J. Loveridge, A. Oates, S. Maltezos, M. Mehta, M. Howard, G. McAlonan, D. Murphy, S. Williams, A. Fotopoulou, U. Schuschnig, Y. Paloyelis

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Mar 08, 2019
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Received Date: 25th February 19

Do nose-to-brain pathways provide a privileged route of direct entry to the brain for peptides such as oxytocin (OT)? We addressed this question by contrasting two methods of intranasal administration (a standard nasal spray, and a nebulizer expected to improve OT deposition in nasal areas putatively involved in direct nose-to-brain transport)to intravenous administration in terms of effects on regional cerebral blood flow during two hours post-dosing. We demonstrate that OT-induced decreases in amygdala perfusion, a key hub of the OT central circuitry, are explained entirely by OT increases in systemic circulation following both intranasal and intravenous OT administration. Yet we also provide robust evidence confirming the validity of the intranasal route to target specific brain regions. Our work has important translational implications and demonstrates the need to carefully consider the method of administration in our efforts to engage specific central oxytocinergic targets for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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