Neurohypophysial hormones and their distribution in the brain

  • D. F. Swaab


Arginine vasopressin is produced in the supraoptic nucleus (SON), paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and suprachiasmatic nucleus, and oxytocin in the SON and PVN. Neurosecretory fibres are found to terminate in neurohaemal organs and in extra hypothalamic area, while there is evidence of direct endings on the cerebral ventricles only in early brain development. In adulthood the neurohypophysial hormones in cerebrospinal fluid are thus considered to result rather from the removal of the hormones released in extra hypothalamic brain area than from direct terminations on the ventricular surface. The release of neurohypophysial hormones in extra hypothalamic area seems to take place via peptidergic synapses. Neurohypophysial hormones and exohypothalamic pathways are present early in fetal life, and are thought to be involved in brain development. Peptide transmitters may thus play an essential role both in brain maturation and in central processes in adult life.


Paraventricular Nucleus Median Eminence Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Lateral Septum Subcommissural Organ 
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© MTP Press Limited 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. F. Swaab
    • 1
  1. 1.Nederlands Instituut voor Hersenonderzoek (Netherlands Institute for Brain Research)AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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