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EXS. 2006;(95):193-211.

Plasticity of neuropeptide Y in the dentate gyrus after seizures, and its relevance to seizure-induced neurogenesis.

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Departments of Pharmacology and Neurology, Columbia University, New York, USA.


In summary, NPY is clearly an important peptide in the adult rat dentate gyrus because it has the potential to influence synaptic transmission and neurogenesis. It may even have other functions, as yet undiscovered, mediated by glia or vasculature. The remarkable plasticity of NPY puts it in a position to allow dentate gyrus function to be modified in a changing environment. The importance of this plasticity in the context of epilepsy cannot be emphasized enough. It could help explain a range of observations about epilepsy that currently is poorly understood. For example, rapid increases in NPY could mediate postictal depression, the period of depression that can last for several hours after generalized seizures. It may mediate the "priming effect," which is a reduction in seizure threshold following an initial period of seizures. Finally, it could contribute to the resistance of dentate granule cells to degeneration after seizures. However, despite the focus in this review on seizure-induced changes, the changes described here also appear to occur after other types of manipulations, which considerably broadens the scope of NPY's role in the brain.

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