ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 311-322.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00311

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Effects of oxytocin on psychological resilience: The neurochemical mechanisms in the hippocampus

XUE Bing, WANG Xuejiao, MA Ning, GAO Jun   

  1. Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University; Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400715, China
  • Received:2020-04-27 Online:2021-02-15 Published:2020-12-29

Abstract: Psychological resilience refers to the process of effective and flexible adaptation in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats and other significant sources of stress. It helps the organism restore to a normal physiological and psychological status. Previous studies have shown that the hippocampus plays an important role in psychological resilience, and oxytocin may promote psychological resilience by modulating the hippocampus. Studies suggest that entorhinal cortex-dentate gyrus-CA3 circus in the hippocampus may improve resilience by reducing the generalization or promoting the extinction of stress-related memory; dentate gyrus- amygdala-nucleus accumbens and hippocampus-nucleus accumbens circuits may enhance or reduce resilience by promoting reward and disgust respectively. Oxytocin regulates the hippocampus in four ways to improve psychological resilience. In ventral hippocampus, oxytocin reduces the sensitivity of mature neurons in ventral hippocampus to stress by stimulating dentate gyrus neurogenesis; Oxytocin stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis to enhance the function of “pattern separation” in the dentate gyrus-CA3 circuit and reduce the generalization of stress-associated memory; Oxytocin promotes the ability of adaptation to stress by rescuing stress-induced impairments in NMDAR-dependent LTP of hippocampal Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses; Oxytocin decreases the expression of glucocorticoid receptor in hippocampus to re-establish homeostasis.

Key words: psychological resilience, stress, stress adaptation, oxytocin, hippocampus

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