LC–MS/MS measurement of endogenous oxytocin in the posterior pituitary and CSF of macaques: A pilot study

David Erikson, S. W. Blue, A. V. Kaucher, T. A. Shnitko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Oxytocin (OT) is a nanopeptide released into systemic circulation via the posterior pituitary (peripheral) and into the central nervous system via widespread OTergic pathways (central). Central OT plays a significant role in variety of functions from social and executive cognition to immune regulation. Many ongoing studies explore its therapeutic potential for variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Measures of peripheral OT levels are most frequently used as an indicator of its concentration in the central nervous system in humans and animal models. In this study, LC–MS/MS was used to measure OT in pituitary samples collected from adult male macaque monkeys in order to explore the correlation between individual levels of OT in the CSF (central) and pituitary (peripheral). We quantified individual differences in the levels of OT in the pituitaries (44−151 ng/mg) and CSF (41−66 pg/mL) of these monkeys. A positive correlation between these two measures was identified. These preliminary results allow for future analyses to determine whether LC–MS/MS measures of peripheral OT can be used as markers of OT levels in the brain of nonhuman primates that serve as valuable models for many human neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number170544
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • LC–MS/MS
  • Macaque monkey
  • Oxytocin
  • Pituitary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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