Anteroventral wall of the third ventricle and dorsal lamina terminalis: Headquarters for control of body fluid homeostasis?

M. J. McKinley, G. L. Pennington, B. J. Oldfield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


The subfornical organ, median preoptic nucleus and the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) are a series of structures situated in the anterior wall of the third ventricle and form the lamina terminalis. The OVLT and ventral part of the median preoptic nucleus are part of a region known as the anteroventral third ventricle region. Data from many laboratories, using techniques ranging from lesions, electrophysiology, neuropharmacology, Fos expression, immunohistochemistry aud receptor localization, indicate that the tissue in the lamina terminalis plays a major role in many aspects of body fluid and electrolyte balance. The subfornical organ and OVLT lack the blood-brain barrier and detect alterations in plasma tonicity and the concentrations of circulating hormones such as angiotensin II and possibly atrial natriuretic peptide and relaxin. This information is then integrated within the lamina terminalis (probably in the median preoptic nucleus) with neural signals from other brain regions. The neural output from the lamina terminalis is distributed to a number of effector sites including the paraventricular (both parvo- and magno-cellular parts) and supraoptic nuclei and influences vasopressin secretion, water drinking, salt intake, renin secretion, renal sodium excretion and cardiovascular regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • angiotensin
  • median preoptic nucleus
  • organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis
  • osmoregulation
  • renin
  • sodium excretion
  • subfornical organ
  • thirst
  • vasopressin

Cite this