Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 394, Issue 3, pp 195–201 | Cite as

Vasopressin release and firing of supraoptic neurosecretory neurones during drinking in the dehydrated monkey

  • Elisabeth Arnauld
  • John du Pont
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


A close relationship exists between drinking and the release of vasopressin, the two main factors responsible for the maintenance of body water content. Whereas the participation of peripheral factors, such as oropharyngeal stimulation, seems obvious in the metering of fluid intake and in thirst satiation, very little is known about their influence on vasopressin release. In the present experiments, the influence of drinking on vasopressin release was studied using both biochemical and electrophysiological approaches.

In one group of monkeys made thirsty by water deprivation, the subsequent drinking of water during a 5–8 min induced: i) a short-term response, consisting of an abrupt fall in plasma vasopressin concentration which was independent of osmolality, occurred at the time of drinking and was partly reversed after the cessation of drinking, and ii) a longer lasting response, consisting of a slow diminution of plasma vasopressin concentration as the intestinal absorption of water progressed. In another group of thirsty monkeys, extracellular recordings were made during drinking from cells which were identified as neurosecretory neurones of the supraoptic nucleus, a number of them being considered vasopressin secreting on the basis of their phasic pattern of firing. Their firing decreased considerably during the periods of water intake and recovered to control levels immediately after-wards.

The decrease in vasopressin release at the onset of water intake, the diminution in the firing rate of the neurones, the short latency and the reversibility of these events after cessation of drinking, suggest that a reflex inhibition of vasopressin-secreting neurones occurs which is probably induced by peripheral stimuli and most likely via oropharyngeal or other visceral receptors. It is postulated that this reflex inhibition of vasopressin release may participate in some active manner in the anticipatory mechanisms of thirst satiation.

Key words

Neurosecretion Vasopressin release Supraoptic nucleus Water intake 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Arnauld
    • 1
  • John du Pont
    • 2
  1. 1.Domaine de CarreireINSERM U.176Bordeaux CedexFrance
  2. 2.Dierfysiologisch InstituutUniversiteit v. AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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