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New newsletter platform and new paper on oxytocin receptor expression patterns in the human brain 🧠

Dan Quintana
Dan Quintana
Welcome to my first research update using Revue! If you’re receiving this update, you would have at some point signed up for my Mailchimp mailing list. I decided to make the switch to Revue because it’s easier to use, closely integrated with Twitter, looks nicer, and it’s much easier to read previous updates.
As well as a new newsletter platform, I also have a new paper to share. This paper, recently published in Neuropsychopharmacology, found that the oxytocin system plays an important role in a diverse set of psychological and somatic processes across the lifespan (non-paywalled PDF).
This paper was years in the making as we used several different techniques to map oxytocin expression patterns in the brain over the lifespan, to compare these human expression patterns with non-human primate expression patterns, to identify the functional relevance of these patterns, and to validate our findings. The results and figures can be reproduced using our R analysis script posted here.
For more on this paper, see my Twitter thread, abstract, and key figures below.

Dan Quintana
Very happy to share that our new paper led by @jarekrokicki on oxytocin receptor expression patterns in the human brain across development has been published in @npp_journal https://t.co/0QQcEihbPp

View-only version: https://t.co/lrHTGFCflm

Here’s a thread on what we found… 🧵 https://t.co/bz4iCAqvf6
Abstract: Oxytocin plays a vital role in social behavior and homeostatic processes, with animal models indicating that oxytocin receptor (OXTR) expression patterns in the brain influence behavior and physiology. However, the developmental trajectory of OXTR gene expression is unclear. By analyzing gene expression data in human post-mortem brain samples, from the prenatal period to late adulthood, we demonstrate distinct patterns of OXTR gene expression in the developing brain, with increasing OXTR expression along the course of the prenatal period culminating in a peak during early childhood.
Oxytocin receptor gene expression patterns across the lifespan
Oxytocin receptor gene expression patterns across the lifespan
This early life OXTR expression peak pattern appears slightly earlier in a comparative macaque sample, which is consistent with the relative immaturity of the human brain during early life compared to macaques.
Oxytocin receptor gene expression patterns in the macaque brain
Oxytocin receptor gene expression patterns in the macaque brain
We also show that a network of genes with strong spatiotemporal couplings with OXTR is enriched in several psychiatric illness and body composition phenotypes.
Full reference
Rokicki, J., Kaufmann, T., de Lange, AM.G. et al. Oxytocin receptor expression patterns in the human brain across development. Neuropsychopharmacol. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-022-01305-5
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Dan Quintana
Dan Quintana @dsquintana

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