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Neuroscience. 2002;110(2):237-43.

Seizure susceptibility and epileptogenesis are decreased in transgenic rats overexpressing neuropeptide Y.

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Department of Neurosciences, Istituo di Richerche Farmacologie Mario Negri, Milan, Italy.


Functional studies in epileptic tissue indicate that neuropeptide Y and some of its peptide analogs potently inhibit seizure activity. We investigated seizure susceptibility in transgenic rats overexpressing the rat neuropeptide Y gene under the control of its natural promoter. Seizures were induced in adult transgenic male rats and their wild-type littermates by i.c.v. injection of 0.3 microg kainic acid or by electrical kindling of the dorsal hippocampus. Transgenic rats showed a significant reduction in the number and duration of electroencephalographic seizures induced by kainate by 30% and 55% respectively (P<0.05 and 0.01). Transgenic rats were also less susceptible to epileptogenesis than wild-type littermates as demonstrated by a 65% increase in the number of electrical stimuli required to induce stage 5 seizures (P<0.01). This phenotype was associated with a strong and specific expression of neuropeptide Y mRNA in area CA1, a brain area involved in the seizure network. We conclude that endogenous neuropeptide Y overexpression in the rat hippocampus is associated with inhibition of seizures and epileptogenesis suggesting that this system may be a valuable target for developing novel antiepileptic treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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