In the present paper we discuss the properties of a recently developed preparation of isolated neurosecretory nerve endings obtained from the rate neurohypophysis. These nerve terminals release two neurohormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, which are easily assayed by radioimmunoassay. Depolarization-induced secretion is dependent on the same parameters as those regulating release from the whole neural lobe. The isolated nerve endings can be permeabilized by means of digitonin; a treatment which gives direct access to the cytoplasm allowing the study of the minimal requirements for inducing neuropeptide release. Furthermore, some nerve endings are large enough to allow the use of the patch-clamp technique. In the present paper we present evidences which show that the isolated neurohypophysial nerve terminals represent a protent tool for studying the mechanism of stimulus-secretion.

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