Postnatal neurogenesis in the vasopressin and oxytocin-containing nucleus of the pig hypothalamus. Academic Article uri icon


  • The vasopressin and oxytocin-containing nucleus (VON) of the pig hypothalamus demonstrates dramatic postnatal growth in nucleus size, both volume and neuron number, during puberty, and continues to increase in size in the adult sexually mature female pig throughout its reproductive prime. This study was designed to show that postnatal neurogenesis is responsible for the VON growth that occurs between adolescence and maturity. Recently divided neurosecretory cells of the hypothalamus were identified in adolescent and mature non-lactating female pigs using a sequential immunohistochemistry double-labeling technique with monoclonal mouse antibodies to detect vasopressin and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a protein associated with the S phase of the cell cycle. A computer-assisted image-analysis system was used to assess nucleus volume and neuron counts. The VON of the mature dry sows was significantly larger in volume and number of vasopressin neurons than the VON of the adolescent pigs. Double-labeled cells were noted in the VON of both adolescent and mature dry sows, but the number and proportion of double-labeled cells was significantly higher in adolescent pigs. Our results indicate the presence of neurons containing PCNA in the VON of the pig hypothalamus. This suggests that mitosis of neurogenic precursors plays a role in the growth of the nucleus.

published proceedings

  • Brain Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Rankin, S. L., Partlow, G. D., McCurdy, R. D., Giles, E. D., & Fisher, K.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Rankin, Sherri L||Partlow, Gary D||McCurdy, Richard D||Giles, Erin D||Fisher, Kenneth RS

publication date

  • January 2003