Neurohypophyseal morphogenesis

A primary research direction of our lab is studying the assembly and maintenance of the hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system (NHS). This important neuroendocrine conduit between brain and blood is formed by multiple neurovascular interfaces. These interfaces comprise hypothalamic axonal termini, which store and secrete the neurohormones oxytocin and vasopressin, astroglial-like cells termed pituicytes and permeable (i.e. fenestrated) blood vessels, through which the neurohormones are released into the general circulation without disrupting the blood-brain barrier.  

Selected Publications:

  • Gordon L., Blechman J., Shimoni E., Gur D., Anand-Apte B. and G. Levkowitz. (2019). Fenestrae-associated protein Plvap regulates the rate of blood-borne proteins passage into the hypophysis. Development  doi: 10.1242/dev.177790. pubmed
  • Chen, Q., Leshkowitz, D. Blechman, J. and G. Levkowitz. (2020). Single-cell molecular and cellular architecture of the mouse neurohypophysis. eNeuro 2020; 10.1523/ENEURO.0345-19.2019 pubmed
  • Anbalagan S, Gordon L, Blechman J, Matsuoka R, Rajamannar P, Wircer E, Biran J, Reuveny E, Leshkowitz D, Stainier D.Y.R, Levkowitz G. (2018). Pituicyte cues regulate the development of permeable neuro-vascular interfaces. Developmental Cell  47, 711–726. pubmed
  • Gutnick, A., J. Blechman, J. Kaslin, L. Herwig, H-G. Belting, M. Affolter, J.L. Bonkowsky and G. Levkowitz. (2011). The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin is required for formation of the neuro-vascular interface of the pituitary. Developmental Cell 21:642–654. pubmed