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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1990;579:28-67.

On the role of neuropeptide Y in information handling in the central nervous system in normal and physiopathological states. Focus on volume transmission and neuropeptide Y/alpha 2 receptor interactions.

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Department of Histology and Neurobiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The NPY neurons play an important role in information handling in the CNS by their ability to interact in both wiring and volume transmission at the network, local circuit and synaptic level. The importance of NPY/alpha 2 receptor-receptor interactions in cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and vigilance control is emphasized. Alterations in these receptor-receptor interactions take place in the spontaneously hypertensive rats as well as in the ischemic brain, which may have profound consequences for the information handling and contribute to the functional alterations found in these pathophysiological states. Finally, in the aging brain there appears to exist a marked reduction in NPY transmission line, which may affect higher brain functions, such as learning and memory retrieval. The most impressive result is, however, the indications of a role for NPY in volume transmission, where NPY appears to produce syndromic actions via its conversion into biologically active fragments, which may have preferential actions at Y2 NPY receptors. These syndromic pathways may be altered in the spontaneously hypertensive rat and may be controlled by gonadal steroids and glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoid receptors have been demonstrated in all arcuate NPY neurons and all NA/NPY and A/NPY costoring neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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