storage, synthesis, and release of hormones from neurons

Neurosecretion is when nerve cells make, store and release hormones.[1]

The hormonal system of the body is almost entirely controlled by the central nervous system. It normally does this by sending nerve impulses down axons to a gland. However, some special nerve cells can make hormones themselves, and deliver them to glands which act as storage organs. The neurons of the neuroendocrine system are large; they are mini factories for producing secretory products. These cells are called neurosecretory cells, and they make neurohormones.[2][3][4]

Most neurohormones are secreted from nerve cells in the hypothalamus of the brain which (either immediately, or after storage) circulate in the blood. They are similar to normal endocrine cells and glands because they regulate both endocrine and nonendocrine cells.

There are also neuroendocrine cells in the adrenal glands, which are just above the kidneys. They are called chromaffin cells, and they release epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).


  1. Sharrer E. & B. 1945. Neurosecretion. Physiological Reviews, 25 (1) 171–181. [1] Archived 2019-12-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Neurosecretion". Access Science from McGraw-Hill. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  3. "Neurosecretion". Biology-Online. Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  4. Guillemin, Roger; Schally, Andrew V. et al 1962. On the presence in hog hypothalamus of β-Corticotropin Releasing Factor, α- and β-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormones, Adrenocorticotropin, Lysine-Vasopressin and Oxytocin. Endocrinology 70 (4): 471–477.