From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Third ventricle wall in the brain of an immature rat. A tanycyte coexpressing CuZn SOD and GFAP is marked by the arrow.
LocationEpendyma of third ventricle of the brain
NeuroLex IDsao1149261773
Anatomical terms of microanatomy

Tanycytes are special ependymal cells found in the third ventricle of the brain, and on the floor of the fourth ventricle and have processes extending deep into the hypothalamus. It is possible that their function is to transfer chemical signals from the cerebrospinal fluid to the central nervous system.

The term tanycyte comes from the Greek word tanus which means elongated.


Tanycytes in adult mammals are found in the ventricular system and the circumventricular organs. They are most numerous in the third ventricle of the brain, are also found in the fourth ventricle, and can also be seen in the spinal cord radiating from the ependyma of the central canal to the spinal cord surface. Tanycytes represent approximately 0.6% of the population of the lateral ventricular wall.[1]

Tanycytes have also been shown in vivo to serve as a diet-responsive neurogenic niche.[2]


Recent work suggests that tanycyte cells bridge the gap between the central nervous system (CNS) via cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to the hypophyseal portal blood.[3][4]

Role in the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone[edit]

Researches in 2005 and 2010[5][6] found that tanycytes participate in the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH is released by neurons located in the rostral hypothalamus. These nerve fibers are concentrated in the region that exactly matches the distribution of β1 tanycytes. β1 and β2 tanycytes are found nearer the arcuate nucleus and the median eminence.[7]

See also[edit]

List of distinct cell types in the adult human body


  1. ^ Doetsch, F; García-Verdugo, JM; Alvarez-Buylla, A (Jul 1, 1997). "Cellular composition and three-dimensional organization of the subventricular germinal zone in the adult mammalian brain". The Journal of Neuroscience. 17 (13): 5046–61. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.17-13-05046.1997. PMC 6573289. PMID 9185542.
  2. ^ Lee, DA; Bedont, JL; Pak, T; Wang, H; Song, J; Miranda-Angulo, A; Takiar, V; Charubhumi, V; Balordi, F; Takebayashi, H; Aja, S; Ford, E; Fishell, G; Blackshaw, S (Mar 25, 2012). "Tanycytes of the hypothalamic median eminence form a diet-responsive neurogenic niche". Nature Neuroscience. 15 (5): 700–2. doi:10.1038/nn.3079. PMC 3380241. PMID 22446882.
  3. ^ Mullier, A; Bouret, SG; Prevot, V; Dehouck, B (Apr 1, 2010). "Differential distribution of tight junction proteins suggests a role for tanycytes in blood-hypothalamus barrier regulation in the adult mouse brain". The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 518 (7): 943–62. doi:10.1002/cne.22273. PMC 2892518. PMID 20127760.
  4. ^ Langlet, F; Mullier, A; Bouret, SG; Prevot, V; Dehouck, B (Oct 15, 2013). "Tanycyte-like cells form a blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier in the circumventricular organs of the mouse brain". J. Comp. Neurol. 521 (15): 3389–405. doi:10.1002/cne.23355. PMC 3973970. PMID 23649873.
  5. ^ Prevot, V; Bellefontaine, N; Baroncini, M; Sharif, A; Hanchate, NK; Parkash, J; Campagne, C; de Seranno, S (Jul 2010). "Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone nerve terminals, tanycytes and neurohaemal junction remodelling in the adult median eminence: functional consequences for reproduction and dynamic role of vascular endothelial cells". Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 22 (7): 639–49. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2826.2010.02033.x. PMC 3168864. PMID 20492366.
  6. ^ Rodríguez, EM; Blázquez, JL; Pastor, FE; Peláez, B; Peña, P; Peruzzo, B; Amat, P (2005). "Hypothalamic tanycytes: a key component of brain-endocrine interaction" (PDF). International Review of Cytology. 247: 89–164. doi:10.1016/S0074-7696(05)47003-5. hdl:10366/17544. PMID 16344112.
  7. ^ Bolborea, M; Dale, N (February 2013). "Hypothalamic tanycytes: potential roles in the control of feeding and energy balance". Trends in Neurosciences. 36 (2): 91–100. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2012.12.008. PMC 3605593. PMID 23332797.

External links[edit]