Sodium-evoked, calcium-independent vasopressin release from rat isolated neurohypophysial nerve endings

J Physiol. 1993 Aug:468:357-78. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1993.sp019776.


1. The effects of Na+ on vasopressin release and on redistribution of Ca2+, Na+ and H+ in isolated rat neurohypophysial nerve endings have been studied. 2. Substituting Na+ for a non-permanent cation produced a pronounced and sustained release of vasopressin. This increase occurred in the absence of external Ca2+ and in nerve endings loaded with the Ca2+ chelator dimethyl-BAPTA (1,2-bis-(O-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid). 3. The effect of Na+ was independent of a rise in intracellular Ca2+ as judged by the measurement of [Ca2+]i using the indicator fura-2 and 45Ca2+ efflux studies. Although Na+ could release Ca2+ from internal reservoirs the small elevation in [Ca2+]i induced by Na+ could not explain the large and sustained increase in vasopressin secretion. 4. The channel blockers TTX (tetrodotoxin), D888 (desmethyoxyverapamil), N144 (5-nitro-2-(phenylpropylamino)-benzoic acid) or SITS (4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulphonic acid) could not prevent the Na(+)-dependent increase in vasopressin release. Similarly this increase was not affected by metabolic inhibitors (Ruthenium Red and KCN) nor by CCCP (carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone), an uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation. 5. Selectivity among monovalent cations to promote secretion was found with the largest effect on the secretory response being produced by Na+. Similarly Cl- was found to be the most potent anion studied for inducing, in the presence of Na+, an increase in neurohormone release. 6. Measuring [Na+]i by means of the Na+ indicator SBFI showed that the extent of the secretory response was correlated with the intraterminal Na+ concentration. 7. The Na(+)-induced, Ca(2+)-independent release of vasopressin occurred by exocytosis as judged (i) by the linear relationship between the amount of vasopressin secreted and that of the co-localized neurophysin and (ii) by the demonstration that the extracellular marker horseradish peroxidase was only found in endocytotic vacuoles and not in the cytoplasm of the stimulated nerve endings. 8. The Na(+)-dependent secretory response found on addition of extracellular Na+ was not the result of the change in internal pH as measured with the indicator BCECF and as mimicked by addition of propionic acid. 9. Addition of Na+ to digitonin- or streptolysin-O-permeabilized nerve endings in the presence or absence of Ca2+ also gave rise to an increase in vasopressin secretion. 10. It is concluded that an increase in internal Na+ per se can promote, in the absence of a rise in intracellular Ca2+, an increase in neuropeptide secretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anions
  • Antimetabolites / pharmacology
  • Arginine Vasopressin / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Exocytosis / drug effects
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism
  • Ion Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nerve Endings / drug effects
  • Nerve Endings / metabolism
  • Pituitary Gland, Posterior / drug effects*
  • Pituitary Gland, Posterior / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Sodium / metabolism
  • Sodium / pharmacology*


  • Anions
  • Antimetabolites
  • Ion Channels
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Sodium
  • Calcium