Author(s): Rosso L, Mienville JM
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Abstract Pituicytes have long been suspected to play a role in the regulation of neurohypophysial hormone output. This role has been mainly ascribed to morphological changes in these cells and subsequent modifications of their tight structural relationships with surrounding nerve terminals and capillaries. These entirely reversible changes are brought about by physiological states such as parturition, lactation, or dehydration, and it was inferred that they should facilitate neurohormone output, based on concerted analyses of in vitro, in situ, and ex vivo experiments. Pituicyte stellation, the in vitro counterpart of these morphological changes, can be induced by beta-adrenergic or A1-adenosine receptor activation, and appears to result from inhibition of the small GTPase RhoA. Actin depolymerization is the key event allowing stellation. Vasopressin and oxytocin reverse stellation and return pituicytes to their basal shape by activating Cdc42, another small GTPase that reorganizes the actin cytoskeleton in a cortical position. Adenosine and neurohormones also have opposite actions on the efflux of taurine, a local messenger that is released by pituicytes in hypotonic conditions and accordingly inhibits vasopressin output from axon terminals. As adenosine is likely generated from endogenous ATP co-released with neurohormones and broken down by local ectoATPases, these data suggest a subtle balance between a positive and a negative feedback on vasopressin output operated, respectively, by adenosine and vasopressin to maintain hydromineral homeostasis. A theoretical scenario is presented to account for the putative sequence of pituicyte-related events following disturbance of the hydromineral system.
This article was published in Glia
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism