Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Direct neural connection from the medial preoptic area to the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus of the rat

  • 47 Accesses

  • 17 Citations


Direct neural connections from the medial preoptic area (MPOA) to the arcuate nucleus were studied on light and electron microscope level by a multistep experimental procedure. The hypothalamic deafferentation technique of Halász and Pupp (1965) was used in itself or was combined with electrolytic lesions. In order to eliminate all fibers of more rostral source traversing the medial preoptic area an extended rostral preoptic deafferentation was made, and a survival time of at least 3 weeks was chosen to allow for the complete disappearance of the degenerated fragments from the arcuate nucleus. In the main experimental group the medial preoptic area was destroyed by an electrolytic lesion 3 or more weeks following such rostral preoptic deafferentations. In these animals degenerated fibers and terminals certainly of preoptic origin were found distributed bilaterally, with a predominance on the side of the lesion. — These data suggest that axons originating from medial preoptic neurons terminate in the arcuate nucleus, thus constituting a preoptico-tuberal pathway.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Barry, J., Dubois, M.P.: Immunofluorescence study of the preoptico-infundibular LH-RH neurosecretory pathway of the guinea pig during the estros cycle. Neuroendocrinology 15, 200–208 (1974)

  2. Dyer, R.G., Cross, B.A.: Antidromic identification of units in the preoptic and anterior hypothalamic areas projecting directly to the ventromedial and arcuate nuclei. Brain Res. 43, 254–258 (1972)

  3. Everett, J.W.: Preoptic stimulative lesions and ovulation in the rat: “Tresholds” and LH-release time in late diestrus and proestrus. In: Bajusz-Jasmin: Major problems in neuroendocrinology, pp. 346–366. Basel: Karger 1964a

  4. Everett, J.W.: Central neural control of reproductive functions of the adenohypophysis. Physiol. Rev. 44, 373–431 (1964b)

  5. Everett, J.W.: Ovulation in rats from preoptic stimulation through platinum electrodes. Importance of duration and spread of stimulus. Endocrinology 76, 1195–1201 (1965)

  6. Everett, J.W., Harp, J.R.: Electrical induction of ovulation in the rat and the question of duration of the natural neurogenous stimulus. Acta endocr. (Kbh.) Suppl. 51, 7 (1960)

  7. Everett, J.W., Radford, H.M., Holsinger, J.: Electrolytic irritative lesions in the hypothalamus and other forebrain areas: effects on luteinizing hormone release and the ovarian cycle; in L. Martini and A. Pecile Hormonal Steroids, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Proceedings First Int. Steroid Congr. Vol. 1, pp. 235–246. New York: Academic Press 1964

  8. Fink, R.P., Heimer, L.: Two methods for selective silver impregnation of degenerating axons and their synaptic endings in the central nervous system. Brain Res. 4, 369–374 (1967)

  9. Halász, B., Gorski, R.A.: Gonadotrophic hormone secretion in female rats after partial or total interruption of neural afferents to the medial basal hypothalamus. Endocrinology 80, 608–622 (1967)

  10. Halász, B., Pupp, L.: Hormone secretion of the anterior pituitary gland after physical interruption of all nervous pathways to the hypophysiotrophic area. Endocrinology 77, 553–562 (1965)

  11. Haterius, H.O., Derbyshire, A.J.: Ovulation in the rabbit following upon stimulation of the hypothalamus. Amer. J. Physiol. 119, 329–330 (1937)

  12. Kaasjager, W.A., Woodbury, D.M., van Dieten, J.A.M.J., van Rees, G.P.: The role played by preoptic region and the hypothalamus in spontaneous ovulation and ovulation induced by progesterone. Neuroendocrinology 7, 54–64 (1971)

  13. Koritsánszky, Sára, Köves, Katalin: Data on the absence of medial preoptic area neurons in the surface zone of the median eminence. J. Neural Transm. 38, 159–167 (1976)

  14. Köves, Katalin, Halász, B.: Location of the neural structures triggering ovulation in the rat. Neuroendocrinology 6, 180–193 (1970)

  15. Naik, D.V.: Immunoreactive LH-RH neurons in the hypothalamus identified by light and fluorescent microscopy. Cell Tiss. Res. 157, 423–436 (1975)

  16. Poulain, P., Partouche, C.: Neural connections from the preoptic region and septum to the arcuate nucleus and median eminence. C.R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 277, 737–739 (1967)

  17. Quinn, D.L.: Neural activation of gonadotropic hormone release by electrical stimulation in the hypothalamus of the guinea pig and the rat. Neuroendocrinology 4, 254–263 (1969)

  18. Tejasen, T., Everett, J.W.: Surgical analysis of the preoptico-tuberal pathway controlling ovulatory release of gonadotrophins in the rat. Endocrinology 81, 1387–1396 (1967)

  19. Terasawa, E., Sawyer, C.H.: Electrical and electrochemical stimulation of the hypothalamoadenohypophysial system with stainless steel electrodes. Endocrinology 84, 918–925 (1969a)

  20. Terasawa, E., Sawyer, C.H.: Changes in electrical activity in the rat hypothalamus related to electrochemical stimulation of adenohypophysial function. Endocrinology 85, 143–149 (1969b)

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Köves, K., Réthelyi, M. Direct neural connection from the medial preoptic area to the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus of the rat. Exp Brain Res 25, 529–539 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00239785

Download citation

Key words

  • Hypothalamus
  • Preoptic area
  • Arcuate nucleus
  • Connections