Vasopressin and Brain Function
Vasopressin, a peptide of neural origin, which had been transmitting primitive messages in prehistoric brains for millions of years, was selected, on a certain level of evolution, to mediate a new signal for water conservation. This decisive revolutionary change however did not mean the loss of the original neural functions of the nonapeptide; AVP has remained an important member in cell-to-cell communication in the central nervous system. There is now considerable evidence that vasopressinergic nerve fibers originating mainly in the parvocellular subdivisions of the paraventricular nucleus and, to a lesser degree, in other hypothalamic vasopressinergic neurons project to many brain regions other than the neural lobe (chapter 220.127.116.11). Many pertinent neurotransmitter criteria have already been shown to be met by this agent, and increasing evidence for AVP functions within the CNS that are separate from its well known peripheral functions on salt and water balance has accumulated (Barchas et al. 1978, Riphagen and Pittman 1986, VanLeeuven 1987).
KeywordsAnorexia Nervosa Behavioral Effect Brain Water Content Central Diabetes Insipidus Neural Lobe
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