Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 15

Differences in oxytocin and vasopressin levels in individuals suffering from the autism spectrum disorders vs general population – a systematic review

Authors Wilczyński KM, Zasada I, Siwiec A, Janas-Kozik M

Received 4 March 2019

Accepted for publication 13 August 2019

Published 10 September 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 2613—2620


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Krzysztof M Wilczyński,1,2 Ida Zasada,1,2 Andrzej Siwiec,2 Małgorzata Janas-Kozik1,2

1Clinical Ward of Developmental Age Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland; 2John Paul II’s Pediatric Centre in Sosnowiec, Sosnowiec, Poland

Correspondence: Krzysztof M Wilczyński
Clinical Ward of Developmental Age Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Tel +48 32 720 7700

Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interactions, communication, and the presence of stereotyped, repetitive behaviors. Oxytocin (OXT) and arginine-vasopressin are neuropeptides produced in hypothalamus and they are related to processing emotions and social behavior. In the light of a growing number of scientific reports related to this issue, the two neurohormones started to be linked with the basis of neurodevelopmental disorders, including the ASD. The aim of this study was a systematic review of previous studies regarding the differences in OXT and vasopressin levels in ASD and neurotypical persons.
Materials and methods: Literature review focused on publications in the last 10 years located via the MEDLINE/PubMed database as well as the Google Scholar browser. Selection was made by assumptive criteria of inclusion and exclusion.
Results: From the 487 studies qualified to the initial abstract analysis, 12 met the six inclusion criteria and were included in the full-text review.
Conclusion: Currently, available study reports still do not provide unequivocal answers as to the differences in concentrations of those neuropeptides between children with ASD and neurotypical control. Therefore, it is necessary to continue the research taking into account necessity of proper homogenization of study groups, utilization of objective and quantifiable tools for ASD diagnosis and broadening the range of biochemical and molecular factors analyzed.

Keywords: oxytocin, vasopressin, autism spectrum disorder, OXT, AVP, ASD

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]