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oxytocin ox·y·to·cin (ŏk'sĭ-tō'sĭn)
A short polypeptide hormone that is released from the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland and stimulates the contraction of smooth muscle of the uterus during labor and facilitates release of milk from the breast during nursing.
hormone used clinically to help begin or to continue labour, to control bleeding following delivery, and to stimulate the secretion of breast milk. Oxytocin was first synthesized (along with the related antidiuretic hormone [ADH]) by Vincent du Vigneaud in 1953, and he received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1955 for this work. Synthetic oxytocin has since become widely used in obstetric practice.