Vasopressinergic neurons in periependymal and periventricular areas of the rostral third ventricle of the rat.
On the lateral wall of the rostral third ventricle, an area separates the ependyma from the neurosecretory PVN neurons. Since VP from the latter discharges into the vasculature, the above area may be regarded as constituting an interface between the ventricular and vascular compartments of the CNS. As VP release into the two compartments is integrated, the interface region has been explored for possible existence of a neural infrastructure that would allow such an integration. Immunohistochemical staining for VP following colchicine treatment reveals the presence of an elaborate vasopressinergic network in the interface region that is divisible into a medial periependymal and a lateral periventricular area. A closer examination indicates that the ependymal, periependymal, periventricular and PVN areas (in that order medio-laterally) are all interconnected through this network. The medial area appears to be receptive in nature, while the connectivity of the lateral area points to an effector function. All in all, such a neural network would provide a sound morphological basis for integration of neuroendocrine mechanisms modulating VP release into the ventricular and vascular compartments of the CNS.