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J Comp Neurol. 1997 Sep 15;386(1):46-59.

Selective changes in hippocampal neuropeptide Y neurons following removal of the cholinergic septal inputs.

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Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Cornell University Medical College, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The number and distribution of subpopulations of hilar interneurons containing neuropeptide Y (NPY), somatostatin (SOM), or gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunoreactivities were examined in the hilus of the dentate gyrus following removal of the cholinergic septal inputs. One, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 weeks after intracerebroventricular injections of immunotoxin, consisting of antibody to the low-affinity nerve growth factor receptor conjugated to saporin (192 IgG-saporin), lesioned rats were processed simultaneously with controls for NPY, SOM, or GABA immunolabeling. Across all time points, the number of NPY-labeled neurons was reduced to a statistically significant level (paired t-test, P = 0.001) in the injected rats (73% of control values, on average). The decrease in the number of NPY-labeled neurons was not limited to any particular subregion rostrally but appeared greater in the central region caudally. The size of NPY-labeled neurons did not differ statistically between control and immunolesioned rats examined at 1, 2, and 24 week time points. In contrast, the number of both SOM- and GABA-immunoreactive neurons in injected rats did not appear to be affected in any consistent manner. Examination of the hilus in adjacent Nissl-stained sections with the optical dissector revealed that although the total number of small nonprincipal cells (5-15 microm in diameter) did not appear affected at the 4-week time point, there was a statistically significant (P = 0.03) reduction across the 8-24-week time points (to 80% of control values, on average). Dual-labeling studies on separate rats showed that a small subpopulation of the NPY- and SOM-labeled neurons, primarily in the infragranular hilus, were colocalized with neurons containing GABA immunoreactivity (18% and 5%, respectively). These studies demonstrate that removal of the cholinergic septal inputs (1) can cause relatively rapid, selective decreases in the number of NPY-immunoreactive hippocampal interneurons and (2) appears to lead to the death of hippocampal interneurons over a longer time course. The changes in NPY immunoreactivity seem to occur in the portion of interneurons that probably does not contain either SOM or GABA immunoreactivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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