Letter | Published:

Evidence for the Synthesis of Oxytocin and Vasopressin in Separate Neurons

Naturevolume 214pages314316 (1967) | Download Citation



ALTHOUGH it is now generally accepted that in mammals the hormones of the posterior pituitary, vasopressin and oxytocin, are synthesized in the hypothalamus in the supraoptic (SON) and paraventricular (PVN) nuclei1, two important and related questions about the hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system (HNS) remain unanswered. These are: (a) whether vasopressin is synthesized exclusively in the SON while oxytocin is synthesized only in the PVN2–4; and (b) whether there is one population of neurons in the hypothalamic nuclei which produces only vasopressin and another population which produces only oxytocin, or whether single neurons in the HNS can synthesize both these hormones5–7. The results reported here suggest an answer to the second question.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Scharrer, E., and Scharrer, B., Rec. Prog. Hormone Res., 10, 183 (1954).

  2. 2

    Olivecrona, H., Acta Physiol. Scand., 40, suppl. 136 (1957).

  3. 3

    Lederis, K., in Neurosecretion (edit. by Heller, H., and Clark, R. B.), Mem. Soc. Endocrinol., No. 12, 227 (Academic Press, New York, 1962).

  4. 4

    Bisset, G. W., Hilton, S. M., and Poisner, A. M., J. Physiol., 169, 40P (1963).

  5. 5

    Pickford, M., in Polypeptides Which Affect Smooth Muscles and Blood Vessels (edit. by Schachter, M.), 42 (Pergamon Press, London, 1960).

  6. 6

    Heller, H., in Oxytocin (edit. by Caldeyro-Barcia, R., and Heller, H.), 3 (Pergamon Press, London, 1961).

  7. 7

    Gaitan, E., Cobo, E., and Mizrachi, M., J. Clin. Invest., 43, 2310 (1964).

  8. 8

    Valtin, H., and Schroeder, H. A., Amer. J. Physiol., 206, 425 (1964).

  9. 9

    Cameron, M. L., and Steele, J. E., Stain Technol., 34, 265 (1959).

  10. 10

    Sokol, H. W., and Valtin, H., Endocrinology, 77, 692 (1965).

  11. 11

    Valtin, H., Sawyer, W. H., and Sokol, H. W., Endocrinology, 77, 701 (1965).

  12. 12

    LaBella, F. S., Beaulieu, G., and Reiffenstein, R. J., Nature, 193, 173 (1962).

  13. 13

    Barer, R., Heller, H., and Lederis, K., Proc. Roy. Soc. (London), B, 158, 388 (1963).

  14. 14

    Lederis, K., Gen. Comp. Endocrinol., 4, 638 (1964).

  15. 15

    Howe, A., in Neurosecretion (edit. by Heller, H., and Clark, R. B.), Mem. Soc. Endocrinol., No. 12, 241 (Academic Press, New York, 1962).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Physiology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire



  1. Search for HILDA WEYL SOKOL in:

  2. Search for HEINZ VALTIN in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.