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Les neurones à ocytocine

Une vidéo réalisée par Jean Marc Israel du Neurocampus

Le 24 mai 2016

In mammals, the circulating neurohormone oxytocin (OT) has a role during parturition and lactation. OT triggers the successive contractions of the uterine myometrium causing expulsion of foetus then placenta. In addition, OT also induces the contraction of the myoepithelial cells wrapping the alveoli in the mammary gland, causing milk let-down. OT is mainly produced by hypothalamic magnocellular OT neurones and released from their axon terminals located in the neurohypophysis, wherefrom OT enters the blood stream.


The electrical activity of OT neurones determines the release of the neurohormone. In basal condition, OT neurons fire action potentials (APs) at a low frequency (0.1 to 10 Hz), leading to a low release of OT. In order to increase OT secretion (parturition & lactation), OT neurones display brief (2-8 s) periodic (every 2-10 minutes) high frequency discharges (HFD, 20-60 Hz) in burst of APs. This is illustrated in the first part of the video. Then we provide further evidence that bursting activity in OT neurones is not linked to some intrinsic cellular property (Jourdain et al, J Neurosci, 1998) but rather reflects the rhythmic drive by an intrahypothalamic autonomous burst generator

(Israel et al, Nat Commun, 2014 ; Israel et al, Front Neurosci, 2016). This is illustrated in the last part of the video. Keywords Hypothalamus, Neuroendocrine, Pulsatility, Oxytocin, Magnocellular, Neurones, Burst, Action potentials.

Neonatal testosterone suppresses a neuroendocrine pulse generator required for reproduction. Israel JM, Cabelguen JM, Le Masson G, Oliet SH, Ciofi P.
Nat Commun. 2014;5:3285. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4285.

Electrophysiology of Hypothalamic Magnocellular Neurons In vitro: A Rhythmic Drive in Organotypic Cultures and Acute Slices. Israel JM, Oliet SH, Ciofi P. Front Neurosci. 2016 Mar 31;10:109. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00109. eCollection 2016.

Voir aussi :  "L'électrophy pour les nuls" un cours de Jean Marc Israel


Jean Marc Israel / DR / CNRS
Dernière mise à jour le 24.05.2016