The high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in persons with schizophrenia has spurred investigational efforts to study the mechanism beneath its pathophysiology. Early psychosis dysfunction is present across multiple organ systems. On this account, schizophrenia may be a multisystem disorder in which one organ system is predominantly affected and where other organ systems are also concurrently involved. Growing evidence of the overlapping neurobiological profiles of metabolic risk factors and psychiatric symptoms, such as an association with cognitive dysfunction, altered autonomic nervous system regulation, desynchrony in the resting-state default mode network, and shared genetic liability, suggest that metabolic syndrome and schizophrenia are connected via common pathways that are central to schizophrenia pathogenesis, which may be underpinned by oxytocin system dysfunction. Oxytocin, a hormone that involves in the mechanisms of food intake and metabolic homeostasis, may partly explain this piece of the puzzle in the mechanism underlying this association. Given its prosocial and anorexigenic properties, oxytocin has been administered intranasally to investigate its therapeutic potential in schizophrenia and obesity. Although the pathophysiology and mechanisms of oxytocinergic dysfunction in metabolic syndrome and schizophrenia are both complex and it is still too early to draw a conclusion upon, oxytocinergic dysfunction may yield a new mechanistic insight into schizophrenia pathogenesis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7092
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2022


  • metabolic syndrome
  • oxytocin
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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