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Development. 2013 Mar;140(5):1111-22. doi: 10.1242/dev.080226.

Direct and indirect roles of Fgf3 and Fgf10 in innervation and vascularisation of the vertebrate hypothalamic neurohypophysis.

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  • 1MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics and Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.


The neurohypophysis is a crucial component of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis, serving as the site of release of hypothalamic neurohormones into a plexus of hypophyseal capillaries. The growth of hypothalamic axons and capillaries to the forming neurohypophysis in embryogenesis is therefore crucial to future adult homeostasis. Using ex vivo analyses in chick and in vivo analyses in mutant and transgenic zebrafish, we show that Fgf10 and Fgf3 secreted from the forming neurohypophysis exert direct guidance effects on hypothalamic neurosecretory axons. Simultaneously, they promote hypophyseal vascularisation, exerting early direct effects on endothelial cells that are subsequently complemented by indirect effects. Together, our studies suggest a model for the integrated neurohemal wiring of the hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal axis.

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