The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus is the primary controller of hypothalamo‐pituitary–adrenocortical glucocorticoid release. In performing this function, the paraventricular nucleus summates a variety of information from both external and internal sources into a net secretory signal to the adrenal cortex. In this review, we will provide an overview of neuronal circuit mechanisms governing activation and inhibition of hypophysiotrophic neurons, highlight recent developments in our understanding of nonsynaptic mechanisms regulating paraventricular cellular activity, including dendritic neuropeptide release, direct steroid feedback, cytokine cascades and gaseous neurotransmission, and illustrate the capacity for hypophysiotrophic, neurohypophysial and preautonomic paraventricular effector pathways to work together in control of glucocorticoid release. The current state of knowledge reveals the paraventricular nucleus to be a dynamic entity, capable of integrating diverse classes of signals into control of adrenocortical activation.
European Journal of Neuroscience – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2002
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