Axonal transport of neuropeptide encoding mRNAs within the hypothalamo-hypophyseal tract of rats

EMBO J. 1991 Sep;10(9):2419-24. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1991.tb07781.x.


Hypothalamic vasopressin and oxytocin transcripts have been detected in the posterior pituitary suggesting either transcription of the respective genes in pituicytes or axonal mRNA transport from the hypothalamus to the nerve terminals of the posterior pituitary. The concept of axonal mRNA transport is supported firstly, by Northern blot and in situ hybridization analysis indicating that vasopressin and oxytocin mRNAs are also present in the neural stalk; secondly, by intron analysis and transcription run on experiments demonstrating the absence of primary vasopressin and oxytocin transcripts in non-neuronal cells of the posterior pituitary; thirdly, by embryonic developmental studies showing that appearance of vasopressin transcripts in the hypothalamus and the pituitary anlage is correlated. Furthermore, during axonal transport the respective mRNAs are subject to specific modification at the poly(A) tails.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / embryology
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oxytocin / genetics
  • Oxytocin / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Vasopressins / genetics
  • Vasopressins / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vasopressins
  • Oxytocin