Brain somatostatin: A candidate inhibitory role in seizures and epileptogenesis

Annamaria Vezzani, Daniel Hoyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent evidence shows that neuropeptide expression in the CNS is markedly affected by seizure activity, particularly in the limbic system. Changes in neuropeptides in specific neuronal populations depend on the type and intensity of seizures and on their chronic sequelae (i.e. neurodegeneration and spontaneous convulsions). This paper reviews the effects of seizures on somatostatin-containing neurons, somatostatin mRNA and immunoreactivity, the release of this peptide and its receptor subtypes in the CNS. Differences between kindling and status epilepticus in rats are emphasized and discussed in the light of an inhibitory role of somatostatin on hippocampal excitability. Pharmacological studies show that somatostatin affects electrophysiological properties of neurons, modulates classical neurotransmission and has anticonvulsant properties in experimental models of seizures. This peptidergic system may be an interesting target for pharmacological attempts to control pathological hyperactivity in neurons, thus providing new directions for the development of novel anticonvulsant treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3767-3776
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


  • Anticonvulsant
  • Kainic acid
  • Kindling
  • Limbic system
  • Neuropeptide
  • Status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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