Cardiovascular diseases belong to a category of diseases in which, detrimental effects occur on heart and blood vessels. Across the globe, these diseases are the most recurrent cause of human mortality. In India, they are believed to account for about a quarter percent of demises. A notable disease affecting the heart is myocardial ischemia. In ischemia, there is a deficiency in the amount of oxygen delivered due to limitation in blood flow. The reason behind constraint of blood flow in arteries is due to narrowing of arteries by plaque accumulation or obstruction due to clot appearance.
The outcome is the injury to myocardial tissue in the state of Ischemic hypoxia.Various alterations are commenced in the cardiac tissue as a consequence of ischemia.These involve morphological changes in terms of size of the cardiac tissue, enzymatic changes that pertain to the level and activity of myocardial associated enzymes.Hemodynamic changes of decline in blood pressure, heart rate and ejection fraction are also an aftermath of ischemia.Arrhythmias may accompany cases of ischemia and some may prove to be fatal.
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The net result of these changes is the impairment in function of cardiac tissue contributing to heart complications such as heart attack, heart failure.With the current lifestyle trend, incidence of ischemia and other ischemia related complications are on a rise.Intensive research is being undertaken in hopes of finding cardio protective agents that have significant reversal effects on ischemia.Recently, the cardio protective potential of oxytocin has been identified.
Oxytocin synthesized in hypothalamus and showing effects of uterine contraction during labor, milk ejection during lactation,was also found to be synthesized in heart.The possibility of cardiovascular role of oxytocin is implied by this.The delivery of oxytocin to body effects the blood pressure and heart rate.Oxytocin enhances the production of Atrial natriuretic peptide which decreases the work load on heart by lowering the preload.It also augments Nitric oxide levels that decrease myocardial work load by increasing coronary circulation.Hemodynamics changes were recorded in pregnant women administered with oxytocin and undergoing Caesarean section.The present study tests the hypothesis that oxytocin exerts cardio protective effects against ischemia.