Letter | Published:

Oxytocinase Activity of Plasma of Pregnant Women

Naturevolume 191pages176177 (1961) | Download Citation



IT has been shown1 that plasma or serum from pregnant women has the power of inactivating oxytocin when incubated with the hormone. This power is thought to be dependent on an enzyme, called oxytocinase. The enzyme inactivates both natural and synthetic oxytocin2–5. The rate at which plasma inactivates oxytocin increases with the age of pregnancy1,4,6–9. Maximum values are said to be reached around the 36th week of pregnancy, after which they remain at the same level until delivery. After parturition the oxytocinase activity decreases progressively, becoming very low in about one month.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Semm, K., Das Wehenproblem mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Oxytocin-Oxytocinasehaushaltes (Ferdinand Enke Verlag, Stuttgart, 1960).

  2. 2

    Beller, F. K., and Göbelsmann, U., Klin. Wschr., 36, 1005 (1958).

  3. 3

    Caldeyro-Barcia, R., and Poseiro, J. J., Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 75, 813 (1958).

  4. 4

    Dicker, S. E., and Whyley, G. A., J. Obstet. Gynaec. Brit. Emp., 66, 605 (1959).

  5. 5

    Semm, K., Naturwiss., 44, 424 (1957).

  6. 6

    Mendez-Bauer, C., and Carballo, M. A., Proc. Fourth Panamer. Congr. Endocrin., 293 (1957).

  7. 7

    Mendez-Bauer, C., and Carballo, M. A., Proc. Second Uruguayan Congr. Obstet. Gynaec., 2, 31 (1957).

  8. 8

    Page, E. W., Amer. J. Obstet. Gynec., 52, 1014 (1946).

  9. 9

    Page, E. W., Science, 105, 292 (1947).

  10. 10

    Tuppy, H., and Nesvadba, H., Mh. Chem., 88, 977 (1957).

  11. 11

    Tuppy, H., Müller-Hartburg, W., and Nesvadba, H., Arch. Gynäk., 191, 442 (1959).

  12. 12

    Caldeyro-Barcia, R., Acta Endocrinol. (Kbh.), Supp. 50, 41 (1960).

  13. 13

    Gaddum, J. H., Pharmacol. Rev., 5, 87 (1953).

  14. 14

    Borth, R., Diczfalusy, E., and Heinrichs, H. D., Arch. Gynäk., 188, 497 (1957).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Uppsala



  1. Search for STIG E. J. MELANDER in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date




By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.