The role of the oxytocin system in anxiety disorders

Seoyoung Yoon, Yong Ku Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


Oxytocin, a neuropeptide synthesized by the hypothalamus, plays a central role in human social behavior, social cognition, anxiety, mood, stress modulation, and fear learning and extinction. The relationships between oxytocin and psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder have been extensively studied. In this chapter, we focus on the current knowledge about oxytocin and anxiety disorder. We discuss the anxiolytic effects of oxytocin in preclinical and clinical findings, possible related neurobehavioral mechanisms (social cognition, fear learning, and extinction), related neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine systems (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, serotoninergic, and GABAergic systems), and studies regarding plasma levels of oxytocin, genetic and epigenetic findings, and effects of intranasal oxytocin in DSM-5 anxiety disorder (primarily social anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder) patients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Oxytocin
  • Panic disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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