21 June 2019

Dick Swaab

Neuroscience Symposium
Swaab Group

The Neuroscience Symposia are organized weekly by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. The presentations are given by researchers from the institute or by guest speakers. The title and content of the symposium is usually made known in the week prior to the presentation.

Colloquium room – Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

Guest speaker: Zhihua Gao PhD, Neuroscience Research Center, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China

4:00 pm – Mapping the connectome of the hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system reveals new features of magnocellular neurosecretory cells
4:45 pm – Discussion and drinks

The hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system (HNS), consisting of the hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs) and the neurohypophysis, plays a pivotal role in linking brain functions and peripheral homeostasis. Yet a precise connectome of the HNS is unavailable. To systematically map the connections between MNCs and the posterior pituitary (PPi), we combined retrograde viral tracing with whole brain imaging to build a high-resolution atlas of the HNS. Retrograde tracing from the PPi followed by three-dimensional reconstruction displayed the precise wiring within the HNS and revealed multiple new hypothalamic regions directly innervating the PPi. Notably, MNCs in hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) only accounted for approximately half of the PPi input, whereas the accessory and scattered MNCs contributed to the remaining half, indicating a key role for these cells in the HNS. We also found that the MNCs collaterally project to multiple extrahypothalamic regions. Our work provides important clues to further understanding the function of HNS.