Synaptic inputs and electrical coupling among magnocellular neuroendocrine cells

Academic Article


  • This paper first briefly reviews the evidence for synaptic and nonsynaptic plasticity among the neurons and glia of the magnocellular hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system. Emphasis is placed upon the importance of the roles played by astrocytes in the remodeling of the magnocellular nuclei under various conditions of increased hormone demand. Evidence is then reviewed from more recent studies showing that there is electrical coupling among magnocellular neurons, and that this coupling shows plasticity similar to that shown for other characteristics of the system (e.g., chemical synapses, dendritic bundling etc.). Further, evidence is presented that extent of electrical coupling can be modified not only by manipulating the physiological state of the animal (such as lactation), but also by electrical stimulation of newly described olfactory afferent inputs to the cells of the supraoptic nucleus. The possible functional significance of these findings is discussed in relation to the behavior of nursing rats. © 1988.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 1372289
  • Author List

  • Hatton GI; Yang QZ; Smithson KG
  • Start Page

  • 751
  • End Page

  • 755
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 6