The anticonvulsant effect of NPY may depend on Y(2) and/or Y(5) receptor-mediated inhibition of glutamate release in critical areas, such as the hippocampus. However, Y(2) and Y(5) receptor levels have been reported to increase and decrease, respectively, in the epileptic hippocampus, implicating that the profile of NPY effects may change accordingly. The aim of this study was to evaluate the differential effects of NPY on glutamate release in the normal and in the epileptic hippocampus. Thus, we pharmacologically characterized the effects of NPY on the release of [(3)H]D-aspartate, a valid marker of endogenous glutamate, from synaptosomes prepared from the whole hippocampus and from the three hippocampal subregions (dentate gyrus and CA1 and CA3 subfields) of control and kindled rats, killed 1 week after the last stimulus-evoked seizure. In the whole hippocampus, NPY does not significantly affect stimulus-evoked [(3)H]D-aspartate overflow. In synaptosomes prepared from control rats, NPY significantly inhibited 15 mM K(+)-evoked [(3)H]D-aspartate overflow only in the CA1 subfield (approx. -30%). Both Y(2) and Y(5) receptor antagonists (respectively, 1 microM BIIE0246 and 1 microM CGP71683A) prevented this effect, suggesting the involvement of both receptor types. In contrast, in synaptosomes prepared from kindled rats NPY significantly inhibited 15 mM K(+)-evoked [(3)H]D-aspartate overflow in the CA1 subfield and in the dentate gyrus (approx. -30%). Only the Y(2) (not the Y(5)) antagonist prevented these effects. These data indicate a critical role for the Y(2) receptor in the inhibitory control of glutamate release in the kindled hippocampus and, thus, suggest that the anticonvulsant effect of NPY in the epileptic brain is most likely Y(2), but not Y(5), receptor-mediated
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