The Supraoptic Nucleus As A "model System"
The supraoptic nucleus is an important "model system" in neuroscience. There are many reasons for this: some technical advantages of working on the supraoptic nucleus are that the cell bodies are relatively large, the cells make exceptionally large amounts of their secretory products, and the nucleus is relatively homogeneous and easy to separate from other brain regions. The gene expression and electrical activity of supraoptic neurons has been studied extensively, in many physiological and experimental conditions. These studies have led to many insights of general importance, as in the examples below.
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