[en] Thymic oxytocin (OT) behaves as a cryptocrine signal targeted at the outer surface of thymic epithelial cell plasma membrane from where OT is able to interact with neurohypophysial peptide receptors expressed by pre-T cells. Immature T cells bear a receptor of the V1 subtype, while OT receptors are predominantly expressed by cytotoxic CD8+ lymphocytes. In both T cell types, neurohypophysial peptide receptors transduce OT via the phosphoinositide pathway. Protein tyrosine phosphorylation is an early event of T cell activation. Western blots of murine pre-T cells (RL12-NP line) proteins probed with anti-phosphotyrosine (PY-20) revealed a great number of proteins the phosphorylation of which increased either with OT or vasopressin treatment. Two were immunoprecipitated with anti-focal adhesion kinase (FAK) mAb 2A7 and were identified one as p125FAK and the other as a coprecipitating 130-kDa protein. The p125FAK is connected to the Ras/MAPK pathway and is also implicated in TCR/CD3 signalling in T cell. Another protein phosphorylated by OT in RL12-NP was identified as paxillin, a 68-kDa protein localised at focal adhesion sites and associated with p 125FAK. These results indicate that phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase may be induced in pre-T cell by thymic OT.