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    Review of 'Multiple-scale neuroendocrine signals connect brain and pituitary hormone rhythms'

    Multiple-scale neuroendocrine signals connect brain and pituitary hormone rhythmsCrossref
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    Multiple-scale neuroendocrine signals connect brain and pituitary hormone rhythms

    The hypothalamo–pituitary axis controls a wide range of homeostatic processes, including growth, stress, and reproduction. Despite this fact, the hypothalamic neuron firing patterns that lead to slowly evolving pituitary hormone rhythms remain enigmatic. Here, we used in vivo amperometric recordings in freely behaving mice to investigate how tuberoinfundibular neurons release dopamine (DA) at the median eminence (ME) to control pituitary prolactin secretion. Using this approach, we show that DA release occurs as multiple locally generated and time-scaled secretory events, which are integrated over a range of minutes across the ME. These results provide a broad physiological mechanism for the dialogue that occurs between the brain and pituitary to dictate hormone rhythms over multiple timescales, from ultradian to seasonal. Small assemblies of hypothalamic “parvocellular” neurons release their neuroendocrine signals at the median eminence (ME) to control long-lasting pituitary hormone rhythms essential for homeostasis. How such rapid hypothalamic neurotransmission leads to slowly evolving hormonal signals remains unknown. Here, we show that the temporal organization of dopamine (DA) release events in freely behaving animals relies on a set of characteristic features that are adapted to the dynamic dopaminergic control of pituitary prolactin secretion, a key reproductive hormone. First, locally generated DA release signals are organized over more than four orders of magnitude (0.001 Hz–10 Hz). Second, these DA events are finely tuned within and between frequency domains as building blocks that recur over days to weeks. Third, an integration time window is detected across the ME and consists of high-frequency DA discharges that are coordinated within the minutes range. Thus, a hierarchical combination of time-scaled neuroendocrine signals displays local–global integration to connect brain–pituitary rhythms and pace hormone secretion.

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      rhythms,dopamine,neuronal networks,prolactin,hypothalamus

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