Vasopressin, Central Autonomic Control and Blood Pressure Regulation

  • Maja Lozić
  • Olivera Šarenac
  • David Murphy
  • Nina Japundžić-Žigon
Hypertension and the Brain (R Wainford, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hypertension and the Brain


Purpose of Review

We present recent advances in understanding of the role of vasopressin as a neurotransmitter in autonomic nervous system control of the circulation, emphasizing hypothalamic mechanisms in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) involved in controlling sympathetic outflow toward the cardiovascular system.

Recent Findings

Suggest that somato-dendritically released vasopressin modulates the activity of magnocellular neurons in the PVN and SON, their discharge pattern and systemic release. Advances have been made in uncovering autocrine and paracrine mechanisms controlling presympathetic neuron activity, involving intranuclear receptors, co-released neuroactive substances and glia.


It is now obvious that intranuclear release of vasopressin and the co-release of neuroactive substances in the PVN, as well as the level of expression of vasopressin receptors, modulate sympathetic outflow to the cardiovascular system and determine vulnerability to stress. Further research involving patho-physiological models is needed to validate these targets and foster the development of more efficient treatment.


Vasopressin Blood pressure Autonomic control Paraventricular nucleus Magnocellular neurons Somato-dendritic release 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance. •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Maja Lozić
    • 1
  • Olivera Šarenac
    • 1
  • David Murphy
    • 2
  • Nina Japundžić-Žigon
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology, Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of MedicineUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Molecular Neuroendocrinology Research Group, The Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience and EndocrinologyUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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