Browning, Michael Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leicester, School of Medicine, Leicester, United Kingdom.
Fingerman, Milton Department of Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Synthesis and release of neurohormones
- Major neurosecretory systems
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The synthesis and release of hormones by neurons. Such neurons are called neurosecretory cells, and their products are often called neurohormones. Neurohormones function in ways comparable to the hormones produced by the nonneural endocrine cells and glands (Fig. 1). In fact, both endocrine and nonendocrine cells are regulated by neurohormones. As with conventional (that is, nonglandular or ordinary) neurons, neurosecretory cells are able to receive signals from other neurons. However, unlike ordinary neurons that have cell-to-cell communication over short distances at synapses, neurosecretory cells release their product into an extracellular space that may be at some distance from the target cells. In an organism with a circulatory system, the neurohormones are typically sent by the vascular route to their target. In contrast, in lower invertebrates that lack an organized circulatory system, the neurohormones apparently simply diffuse from the release site to the target. See also: Endocrine mechanisms; Endocrine system (invertebrate); Endocrine system (vertebrate); Hormone; Nervous system (invertebrate); Nervous system (vertebrate); Neurobiology; Neuron
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