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Brain Res. 2005 Feb 8;1033(2):151-6.

Neuropeptide Y suppresses absence seizures in a genetic rat model.

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Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, 3010, Australia.


Evidence from studies in rodents and humans support an anti-seizure action of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in focal, acquired epilepsy. However, the effects of NPY in generalized genetic epilepsy remain unexplored. In this study, adult male Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats of Strasbourg (GAERS) were implanted with extradural electrodes and an intracerebroventricular (icv) cannula. Six and 12 nmol NPY or vehicle was administered icv in a random order (n=6), and the effect of NPY on seizure activity quantitated from a 90-min EEG recording. A rapid onset and sustained seizure suppression was observed following NPY treatment compared to vehicle, with both 6 and 12 nmol NPY having a significantly decreased mean percentage time in seizure (5.7 +/- 1.4% and 5.0 +/- 1.7% vs. 15.8 +/- 3.4%) and mean number of seizures per minute (0.5 +/- 0.1 and 0.4 +/- 0.1 vs. 1.1 +/- 0.1). There was no significant difference between the degree of seizure suppression after 6 and 12 nmol NPY. The results of this study demonstrate that NPY suppresses absence seizures in GAERS. This suggests that NPY modulates pathological oscillatory thalamocortical activity and may represent a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of generalized epilepsies.

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