Vasopressin (AVP) has been identified as a neural peptide which may influence memory function. Because of this action, we investigated the effect of AVP on neurons growing in culture. Vasopressin was found to markedly increase neurite outgrowth from cultured embryonic neurons and to also accelerate the rate of neuritic growth. Maximal stimulation of neurite production occurred after 24‐hour incubation in the presence of 1 μM AVP. In AVP‐treated cultures the profuse neuritic arborization was characterized by numerous microspikes along the neuritic shafts and at the perimeters of growth cones. These data provide strong evidence for a neurotrophic effect of AVP which, we suggest, may be relevant to neuronal development as well as to morphological changes which occur in the mature nervous system, possibly during memory formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience