Alterations in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and its oxytocin neurons (putative satiety cells) in Prader-Willi syndrome: a study of five cases

D F Swaab, J S Purba, M A Hofman
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 1995, 80 (2): 573-9
Animal experiments have shown that the parvocellular oxytocin (OXT) neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) inhibit food intake. In the present study, the PVN and its OXT neurons have been investigated in an extreme human eating disorder, i.e. the Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). PWS patients are characterized by gross obesity, insatiable hunger, hypotonia, hypogonadism, and mental retardation. The PVN of 5 PWS patients (2 males and 3 females), varying in age between 22-64 yr, and 27 controls (14 males and 13 females) without any primary neurological or psychiatric diseases was morphometrically investigated after conventional staining with thionine and immunocytochemical staining for OXT and vasopressin (AVP). The thionine-stained volume of the PVN was 28% smaller in PWS patients (P = 0.028), and the total cell number was 38% lower (P = 0.009). The immunoreactivity for OXT and AVP was decreased in PWS patients, although the variability within the groups was high. A strong and highly significant decrease (42%; P = 0.016) was found in the number of OXT-expressing neurons of the PWS patients. The volume of the PVN-containing OXT-expressing neurons decreased by 54% (P = 0.028) in PWS. The number of AVP-expressing neurons in the PVN did not change significantly. The OXT neurons of the PVN seem to be good candidates for playing a physiological role in ingestive behavior as "satiety neurons" in the human hypothalamus.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"