Oxytocin deficiency impairs maternal skeletal remodeling

Xuan Liu, Kengo Shimono, Ling Ling Zhu, Jianhua Li, Yuanzhen Peng, Aliza Imam, Jameel Iqbal, Surinder Moonga, Graziana Colaianni, Cai Su, Zuhong Lu, Masahiro Iwamoto, Maurizio Pacifici, Alberta Zallone, Li Sun, Mone Zaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We have reported that the posterior pituitary hormone, oxytocin (OT), known for its effects in inducing parturition, lactation and social bonding, is also a skeletal hormone. Here, we demonstrate that OT plays a key role in enabling maternal skeletal mobilization during pregnancy by enhancing the formation of bone resorbing osteoclasts. Osteoclast formation ex vivo is thus diminished in pregnant mothers with genetic OT-deficiency. OT-/- pups at day E20 also show a defect in trabecular bone. μCT measurements reveal normal bone volume, but increased trabecular numbers, suggesting that trabeculae in OT-/- pups are hypomineralized. We suggest that OT facilitates intergenerational transfer of calcium ions from a pregnant mother to the pups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 9 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone density
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteoclast
  • Pituitary hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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