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Regul Pept. 2004 Jan 15;117(1):11-23.

Sensory circumventricular organs: central roles in integrated autonomic regulation.

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Department of Physiology, Queen's University, Botterell Hall, 4th Floor, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6.


Circumventricular organs (CVO) play a critical role as transducers of information between the blood, neurons and the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). They permit both the release and sensing of hormones without disrupting the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and as a consequence of such abilities the CVOs are now well established to have essential regulatory actions in diverse physiological functions. The sensory CVOs are essential signal transducers located at the blood-brain interface regulating autonomic function. They have a proven role in the control of cardiovascular function and body fluid regulation, and have significant involvement in central immune response, feeding behavior and reproduction, the extent of which is still to be determined. This review will attempt to summarize the research on these topics to date. The complexities associated with sensory CVO exploration are intense, but should continue to result in valuable contributions to our understanding of brain function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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