Oxytocin stimulates repair of old mice’s muscles

Naturally produced hormone, well known for its role in social bonding, could help heal injuries in the elderly

By Tina Hesman Saey, 10:54 AM June 10, 2014

The “love hormone” does more than trigger labor and cement emotional ties between people. Oxytocin also helps repair damaged muscles, at least in mice.

Oxytocin stimulates muscle stem cells to divide when muscle is damaged, researchers report June 10 in Nature Communications.  Experiments with mice also showed that the hormone’s levels in the animals’ blood declines with age. Giving old mice shots of oxytocin restored their muscle-regeneration capabilities to match those of much younger rodent...

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