Author(s): Mayer CM, Fick LJ, Gingerich S, Belsham DD
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Abstract The hypothalamus is the control center for most physiological processes; yet has been difficult to study due to the inherent heterogeneity of this brain region. For this reason, researchers have turned towards cell models. Primary hypothalamic cultures are difficult to maintain, are heterogeneous neuronal and glial cell populations and often contain a minimal number of viable peptide-secreting neurons. In contrast, immortalized, clonal cell lines represent an unlimited, homogeneous population of neurons that can be manipulated using a number of elegant molecular techniques. Cell line studies and in vivo experimentation are complementary and together provide a powerful tool to drive scientific discovery. This review focuses on three key neuroendocrine systems: energy homeostasis, reproduction, and circadian rhythms; and the use of hypothalamic cell lines to dissect the complex pathways utilized by individual neurons in these systems.
This article was published in Front Neuroendocrinol
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science