Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The role of the dendrites of magnocellular neurones in the release of neurosecretory peptides and the synthesis of many proteins locally is reviewed. Oxytocin and vasopressin contained in dense-cored neurosecretory vesicles are released from magnocellular dendrites not only by excitatory transmitters such as glutamate acting through well-established receptors, but also by a rapid action of oestradiol acting by a mechanism which appears to involve NMDA receptors. Magnocellular dendrites also contain substantial amounts of the synthetic machinery which could synthesise proteins for local use. The presence in dendrites of polysomes and of mRNAs encoding microtubule-associated protein 2, calcium calmodulin kinase II, alpha-synapsin-associated protein, and components of the GABA(A) and NMDA receptors strongly suggests that these proteins can be translated in the dendrites, close to the sites at which they function. Mechanism(s) which control the translation of these dendritic mRNAs and the insertion into the dendritic membranes of proteins translated by dendritic ribosomes remain to be determined. However, an overall picture emerges of magnocellular dendrites as active secretory and synthetic components of the neurosecretory neurones.

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Physiol

Publication Date



85 Spec No


131S - 138S


Animals, Dendrites, Hypothalamus, Neurons, Neurosecretory Systems, Oxytocin, Vasopressins