Identification of Nonpeptide Oxytocin Receptor Ligands by Receptor-Ligand Fingerprint Similarity Search
Oxytocin (OT) is a peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that binds to a specific G protein-coupled receptor (OTR) to mediate both peripheral and central actions. It notably induces uterine contraction during labor and stimulates lactation in breast-feeding mothers. Centrally, OT is implicated in numerous social behaviors[2–4] including pair bonding, maternal behavior, sexual arousal, learning, selfconfidence and is often referred as the hormone of love. As most peptides, OT displays very poor pharmacokinetic properties and does not cross the blood-brain barrier. Non-peptide orally-available and selective OTR agonists would be of invaluable help to better investigate the still poorly known central effects of OT and enable the treatment of pathologies (e.g. male erectile dysfunction) where OT function is impaired.