RALUCA GAVRIL, LUMINITA HRITCU, MANUELA PADURARIU, ALIN CIOBICA, CRISTINA HORHOGEA, GABRIELA STEFANESCU, MIHAELA CLAUDIA SPATARU, CRINA STRAULEA, CRISTINEL STEFANESCU PRELIMINARY STUDY ON THE CORRELATIONS BETWEEN OXYTOCIN LEVELS AND IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME IN PATIENTS WITH DEPRESSION Lately there are increased evidences that oxytocin may be an important mediator in several psychiatric disorders including depression and anxiety. Oxytocin system seems to be linked with several neurotransmitters important in psychiatric disorder, but also with the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and is also a key factor in stress regulation mechanisms. Considering the oxytocin receptor pattern of distribution both central and peripherally and the growing data concerning the disbalance of oxytocin in psychiatric disorders we may speculate that oxytocin system may be at the core of psychosomatic disturbances. Also, recent data brought to attention that oxytocin receptor is distributed throughout gastrointestinal tract. Our hypothesis of the present study was that oxytocin system is disbalanced in irritable bowel syndrome considering also the psychological component of this digestive disorder. We preliminary report here a significant decrease of serum oxytocin levels in patients with major depression disorder and irritable bowel syndrome, as compared with those with major depression disorder alone.