Arcuate nucleus, median eminence, and hypophysial pars tuberalis

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The arcuate nucleus (ARC) is located in the mediobasal hypothalamus and forms a morphological and functional entity with the median eminence (ME), the ARC-ME. The ARC comprises several distinct types of neurons controlling prolactin release, food intake, and metabolism as well as reproduction and onset of puberty. The ME lacks a blood–brain barrier and provides an entry for peripheral signals (nutrients, leptin, ghrelin). ARC neurons are adjacent to the wall of the third ventricle. This facilitates the exchange of signals from and to the cerebrospinal fluid. The ventricular wall is composed of tanycytes that serve different functions. Axons of ARC neurons contribute to the tuberoinfundibular tract terminating in the ME on the hypophysial portal vessels (HPV) and establish one of the neurohumoral links between the hypothalamus and the pituitary. ARC neurons are reciprocally connected with several other hypothalamic nuclei, the brainstem, and reward pathways. The hypophysial pars tuberalis (PT) is attached to the ME and the HPV. The PT, an important interface of the neuroendocrine system, is mandatory for the control of seasonal functions. This contribution provides an update of our knowledge about the ARC-ME complex and the PT which, inter alia, is needed to understand the pathophysiology of metabolic diseases and reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
EditorsDick F. Swaab , Felix Kreier , Paul J. Lucassen , Ahmad Salehi , Ruud M. Buijs
Number of pages25
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-820107-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesHandbook of Clinical Neurology

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

    Research areas

  • Agouti-related peptide, Dopamine, Feeding, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, Kisspeptin, Metabolism, Neuropeptide Y, Proopiomelanocortin, Tanycytes, Thyroid-stimulating hormone

ID: 276334177