Immunoreactive vasopressin and oxytocin: concentration in individual human hypothalamic nuclei

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Science  21 Apr 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4339, pp. 342-343
DOI: 10.1126/science.556308


Individual hypothalamic nuclei were microdissected from brain tissue of ten human subjects who had died suddenly while in apparent good health. Appreciable amounts of vasopressin and oxytocin immunoreactivity were found by specific radioimmunoassay in six hypothalamic nuclei including supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei. Vasopressin and oxytocin are presumed to be synthesized in supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei for axonal transport to the posterior pituitary for storage and release. Vasopressin and oxytocin in other hypothalamic nuclei may be a part of this system of neurosecretion or may serve some other function.