PROBLEMS IN ELECTRICAL STIMULATION OF AFFERENT PATHWAYS FOR OXYTOCIN RELEASE

in Journal of Endocrinology
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SUMMARY

Recent investigations in the rabbit have indicated the presence of well-defined afferent nervous pathways for release of neurohypophysial oxytocin. To study these pathways for later use in hypothalamic unit recording, intramammary pressure responses (milk ejection) and arterial pressure were recorded in 45 lactating rabbits with post-pontine brainstem transection. Systematic exploration of the mid-brain tegmentum and ventromedial forebrain areas was carried out with a bipolar stimulating electrode. Release of oxytocin, shown by milk-ejection responses similar to those evoked by a 1–2 mu. synthetic oxytocin occurring in the absence of detectable pressor effects, was recorded in less than half the animals. The location of positive stimulation sites was very variable between animals and reproducibility of responses from the same site was poor. It is concluded that present evidence does not support a discrete afferent path in the mid-brain for the milk-ejection reflex and a possible explanation for the inconstant results of stimulation experiments is suggested.

 

      Society for Endocrinology

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