The author introduced the difference of electrophysiologic properties between vasopressin neurons and oxytocin neurons in the supraoptic nucleus in the hypothalamus from many aspects and explored the involvement of some ion channels in the functional difference in detail. The mechanisms underlying the effects of these ion channels on hormone release are also discussed. In description of the electrophysiological properties of vasopressin and oxytocin neurons, the author specifically discussed the strong association of sDAPs and plateau potentials with phasic bursting activity in VP neuronsIt was also mentioned that many OT neurons display sDAPs that are rarely summed up to generate phasic bursting, but form an irregular-to-continuous mode, just like those in vivo when there is no milk injection during suckling. VP neurons exhibited action potential (AP) with higher amplitude, a larger underlying Na+ current and a more stable AP threshold.  OT neurons show considerable upregulation of the AHP during pregnancy and lactation, likely due to changes in the modulation of SK3 channels by CK2, and the second messenger PIP2 is necessary for OT neurons to express Ca2+ -dependent AHPs. The synchronous, bursting behavior of OT neurons exhibited during lactation appears to be synaptically driven in combination with somatodendritic release of OT. In organotypic cultures or in hypothalamic slices, the bursts of OT neurons are dependent upon both glutamatergic and oxytocinergic activity. These facts are very useful for further exploring the mechanisms underlying the burst discharges in OT neurons from the intrinsic properties of these neurons.


1. What methods can be applied in our laboratory to distinguish oxytocin from vasopressin neurons?

2. How to distinguish an inward current from an outward one in the I-V curve based on voltage stimulation-evoked currents?

3. What is the suitable duration for measuring SOR (sustained outward rectifier) and TOR (transient outward rectification)?

4. What is the definition of the alternating current and direct current in neurons?

5. How to record ion current in patch-clamp recording without any ion channel blockers ,such as K+, Na+ and Ca2+.

6. We all know, there are many physiological differences between oxytocin and vasopressin neurons in vivo between male, virgin female and lactating rats. Then what are physiological differences between these two type neurons in brain slices or dissociated cells?


2019-01-04 Literature analysis

Electrophysiological Properties of Identified Oxytocin and Vasopressin Neurons. Doi: 10.1111/jne.12666 Author: DR WILLIAM ARMSTRONG (OrcidID :0000-0003-2280-4969). Presented by Yang Liu; edited by Xiaoran Wang

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