Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a 36-amino acid peptide which exerts several regulatory actions within peripheral and central nervous systems. Among NPY actions preclinical and clinical data have suggested that the anxiolytic and antidepressant actions of NPY may be related to its antagonist action on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are proteins involved in the growth, survival and function of neurons. In addition to this, a possible role of neurotrophins, particularly BDNF, in HPA axis hyperactivation has been proposed. To characterize the effect of NPY on the production of neurotrophins in the hypothalamus we exposed young adult rats to NPY intraperitoneal administration for three consecutive days and then evaluated BDNF and NGF synthesis in this brain region. We found that NPY treatment decreased BDNF and increased NGF production in the hypothalamus. Given the role of neurotrophins in the hypothalamus, these findings, although preliminary, provide evidence for a role of NPY as inhibitor of HPA axis and support the idea that NPY might be involved in pathologies characterized by HPA axis dysfunctions.
- Neuropeptide Y
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience