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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 3276383, 10 pages
Review Article

The Role of Hypothalamic Neuropeptides in Neurogenesis and Neuritogenesis

1Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Vlarska 3, 833 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
2Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Sasinkova 2, 813 72 Bratislava, Slovakia
3Department of Normal and Pathological Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Slovak Medical University, Limbova 12, 833 03 Bratislava, Slovakia

Received 20 August 2015; Revised 18 November 2015; Accepted 22 November 2015

Academic Editor: Etienne de Villers-Sidani

Copyright © 2016 Jan Bakos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The hypothalamus is a source of neural progenitor cells which give rise to different populations of specialized and differentiated cells during brain development. Newly formed neurons in the hypothalamus can synthesize and release various neuropeptides. Although term neuropeptide recently undergoes redefinition, small-size hypothalamic neuropeptides remain major signaling molecules mediating short- and long-term effects on brain development. They represent important factors in neurite growth and formation of neural circuits. There is evidence suggesting that the newly generated hypothalamic neurons may be involved in regulation of metabolism, energy balance, body weight, and social behavior as well. Here we review recent data on the role of hypothalamic neuropeptides in adult neurogenesis and neuritogenesis with special emphasis on the development of food intake and social behavior related brain circuits.