Original Article

Oxytocin and Vasopressin Blood Levels in People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Department of Psychiatry, Inonu Universıty, Faculty of Medicine, Malatya, Turkey


Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, Gozde Academy Hospital, Malatya, Turkey

Alpha Psychiatry 2023; 24: 180-185
DOI: 10.5152/alphapsychiatry.2023.21628
Read: 1097 Downloads: 559 Published: 20 September 2023

Background: The neuroendocrine system and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis are among the possible neurobiological factors that may be involved in the emergence and persistence of post-traumatic stress disorder. Here, we determined the levels of vasopressin and oxytocin in the peripheral blood of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, investigating their correlation with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Methods: The study included patients with post-traumatic stress disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version 4 and healthy controls. People who accepted to participate in the study, who did not have any additional diseases, who had the ability to understand the questionnaires, and who did not use medications during the 3 months preceding the study onset were enrolled. The levels of vasopressin and oxytocin were measured using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Twenty-eight subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder and 19 healthy controls were included. The 2 groups were not significantly different in terms of oxytocin blood levels (P=.481). However, subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder had a significantly lower vasopressin level than controls (P < .001). We found no significant correlations of trauma duration and scale scores with oxytocin or vasopressin levels.

Conclusion: The findings of this study show that blood vasopressin may play a role in post-traumatic stress disorder. Prospective studies based on a larger number of participants are warranted to clarify how neuromodulators may affect the pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Cite this article as: Porgali Zayman E, Bay Karabulut A, Özdemir S, Kartalci Ş. Oxytocin and vasopressin blood levels in people with post-traumatic stress disorder. Alpha Psychiatry. 2023;24(5):180-185.

EISSN 2757-8038