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Exp Neurol. 1990 Dec;110(3):298-305.

Mapping study of noradrenergic stimulation of vasopressin release.

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Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021.


The precise role of hypothalamic norepinephrine (NE) in the control of vasopressin (AVP) release has remained unclear, due to reports of both inhibitory and excitatory effects of NE and only a few studies with direct hypothalamic manipulations. The present study utilized a chronically implanted swivel brain cannula to investigate, in undisturbed and freely behaving rats, the impact of acute hypothalamic infusions of monoamines on circulating AVP levels. The first study examined and compared the responsiveness of six hypothalamic sites to NE infusion through the swivel cannula. Results indicated that the excitatory effect of central noradrenergic stimulation on serum AVP is highly site specific, localized to the paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic (SON) nuclei. These two nuclei appeared to be equally responsive to NE infusion, yielding a threefold rise in serum AVP over baseline levels. In contrast, NE in the dorsomedial nucleus produced a significantly smaller increase in AVP, and no response was observed in the ventromedial nucleus, posterior hypothalamus, or perifornical lateral hypothalamus. Further tests conducted in the PVN showed this nucleus to respond in a dose-dependent manner to NE infusion. In contrast, under similar test conditions, dopamine caused only a small increase in AVP at a relatively high dose, while a PVN injection of serotonin produced no response. These results support the existence of an excitatory noradrenergic system controlling AVP release and specifically demonstrate that this function of NE is localized to the PVN and SON, in contrast to other hypothalamic areas, and is mimicked to some extent by dopamine but not by serotonin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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