Neuropeptide Y (NPY) in alcohol intake and dependence

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Neuropeptide Y has a role in alcohol intake and dependence. NPY's effect on alcohol intake appears to be in part dependent on the individual's history of alcohol dependence. In models of high intake such as alcohol-preferring, selectively bred rat lines (e.g., the P-line and the HAD line), as well as in ethanol-vapor-exposed subjects, NPY modulates alcohol intake while leaving it unaffected during baseline conditions. The primary receptor subtype mediating NPY's effect on ethanol intake remains in question. The Y2-antagonist BIIE0246 significantly suppresses ethanol intake in an operant paradigm with a sensitization to the effect of BIIE0246 in vapor-exposed subjects. We propose the NPY system to be one of the most interesting target systems for the development of treatments for alcohol abuse and dependence.

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