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Evidence for a Hypothalamic Oxytocin-Sensitive Pattern-Generating Network Governing Oxytocin Neurons In Vitro

Summary: Evidence for a Hypothalamic Oxytocin-Sensitive Pattern-
Generating Network Governing Oxytocin Neurons In Vitro
Pascal Jourdain, Jean-Marc Israel, Bernard Dupouy, Ste´ phane H. R. Oliet, Miche` le Allard, Sergio Vitiello,
Dionysia T. Theodosis, and Dominique A. Poulain
Institut National de la Sante´ et de la Recherche Me´ dicale U. 378, Institut Franc¸ ois Magendie,
F33077 Bordeaux Cedex, France
During lactation and parturition, magnocellular oxytocin (OT)
neurons display a characteristic bursting electrical activity re-
sponsible for pulsatile OT release. We investigated this activity
using hypothalamic organotypic slice cultures enriched in mag-
nocellular OT neurons. As shown here, the neurons are func-
tional and actively secrete amidated OT into the cultures.
Intracellular recordings were made from 23 spontaneously
bursting and 28 slow irregular neurons, all identified as oxyto-
cinergic with biocytin and immunocytochemistry. The bursting
electrical activity was similar to that described in vivo and was
characterized by bursts of action potentials (20.1 4.3 Hz)
lasting 6 sec, over an irregular background activity. OT (0.1­1
M), added to the medium, increased burst frequency, reducing
interburst intervals by 70%. The peptide also triggered bursting


Source: Alford, Simon - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago


Collections: Biology and Medicine