Neuropeptide Y: Potential role in recurrent developmental seizures

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Seizures induce profound plastic changes in the brain, including altered expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and its receptors. Here, I discuss a potential role of NPY plasticity in the developmental brain: in a rat model of febrile seizures (FS), the most common type of seizures in infants and young children, NPY expression was up-regulated in hippocampus after experimentally induced FS. Interestingly, NPY up-regulation was associated with an increased seizure threshold for additional (recurrent) FS, and this effect was abolished when an antagonist against NPY receptor type 2 was applied. These findings suggest that inhibitory actions of NPY, released after seizures, exert a protective effect that reduces the risk of seizure recurrence in the developing brain.

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