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Neuropeptides. 2002 Oct;36(5):363-9.

Extracellular levels of NPY in the dorsal hippocampus of freely moving rats are markedly elevated following a single electroconvulsive stimulation, irrespective of anticonvulsive Y1 receptor blockade.

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Institution of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17177, Stockholm, Sweden.


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been proposed to play a role in the pathophysiology of depression and also to act as an endogenous anticonvulsant. Repeated administration of electroconvulsive stimulations (ECS) has been shown to induce a long-term increase in hippocampal NPY neurotransmission, while the effects of single ECS are largely unexplored. In this study, we assessed extracellular levels of NPY in the dorsal hippocampus of freely moving rats following a single ECS. We also studied the effect of locally administered BIBP3226, a selective NPY Y1 receptor antagonist with reported anticonvulsant properties, on the duration of the ECS-induced seizure and NPY release in freely moving animals. Our data demonstrate that a single ECS increases extracellular NPY-like immunoreactivity (LI) levels in the dorsal hippocampus, reaching statistical significance 2h following the treatment. KCl transiently and calcium-dependently increased extracellular levels of NPY, suggesting that the measured NPY-LI is derived from functional neurons. Local BIBP3226 perfusion essentially abolished the ECS-induced seizure but had no effect on the basal NPY-LI outflow or on the ECS-induced rise in extracellular NPY levels. Our data are in line with the hypothesis that one mechanism of action of ECS is to release NPY in the hippocampus and suggest that the increase is in itself not associated with anticonvulsant activity but may represent other properties of NPY.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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