Organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis
|Brain: Organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis|
The organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) (or supraoptic crest) is one of the circumventricular organs of the brain . Other circumventricular organs are the subfornical organ (SFO) and the area postrema in the brainstem. The OVLT and the SFO are both strongly interconnected with the median preoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus (the nucleus medianus), and together these three structures comprise the so called "AV3V" region - the region anterior and ventral to the third ventricle. The AV3V region is very important in the regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance, by controlling thirst, sodium excretion, blood volume regulation, and vasopressin secretion.
The OVLT is outside the blood brain barrier, and so neurons in this region can respond to factors that are present in the systemic circulation.
Some neurons in the OVLT are osmoreceptors, being sensitive to the osmotic pressure of the blood. These neurons project to the supraoptic nucleus and paraventricular nucleus to regulate the activity of vasopressin-secreting neurons. These neurons also project to the nucleus medianus (also called the medial preoptic nucleus) which is involved in controlling thirst.