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Neuroendocrinology. 1999 Nov;70(5):295-305.

Neuropeptide Y innervation and neuropeptide-Y-Y1-receptor-expressing neurons in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus of the mouse.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVH) serves as integrator and link between the neuroendocrine and autonomic nervous systems. Neuropeptide-Y (NPY)-producing neurons in the arcuate nucleus project to the PVH, where neurons expressing NPY Y1 receptor (Y1R) have been demonstrated. This projection has been suggested to be involved in the regulation of parameters related to energy metabolism, e.g. food intake and thermoregulation. The present study aimed at characterizing this pathway and chemically defining Y1R-expressing neurons by means of immunohistochemistry. The densely distributed NPY-immunoreactive (ir) terminals in the PVH co-stained for agouti gene-related protein (AGRP) mainly in the medial parvocellular regions, indicating an origin in the arcuate nucleus. This was in contrast to noradrenergic/adrenergic terminals in the PVH, which were less frequently seen to contain NPY-like immunoreactivity. Furthermore, AGRP-ir terminals were seen forming abundant close appositions on Y1R-ir cell bodies. Double staining revealed co-existence of Y1R-like immunoreactivity and immunoreactivities for thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and, to a minor extent, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide in parvocellular neurons. No Y1R-like immunoreactivity was noted in parvocellular neurons expressing corticotropin-releasing hormone or in magnocellular neurons expressing vasopressin or oxytocin. The present results suggest that the arcuatoparaventricular NPY projection targets the TRH neurons preferentially via the Y1R, whereas the NPYergic regulation of corticotropinergic and magnocellular neurons may be relayed through other subtypes of NPY receptors. This study further defines the link between NPY-induced feeding and the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis.

Copyright 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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