Neuropeptide Y stimulates proliferation, migration and differentiation of neural precursors from the subventricular zone in adult mice

Neurobiol Dis. 2009 Jun;34(3):441-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2009.02.017. Epub 2009 Mar 10.


The neuropeptide Y (NPY) is widely expressed in the central nervous system and has been shown to stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus and the olfactory epithelium. Here, we demonstrate that intracerebroventricular injection of NPY stimulates proliferation of neural precursors in the mice subventricular zone (SVZ), one the most neurogenic areas of the brain. Newly generated neuroblasts migrate through the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb and also directly to the striatum, as evidenced by BrdU labelling and cell phenotyping. Using knock-out mice, specific NPY receptor agonists and antagonists, we report that this neuroproliferative effect is mediated by the Y1 receptor subtype that we found to be highly expressed in the SVZ both at the mRNA and protein levels. Our data suggest that stimulating endogenous SVZ neural stem cells by NPY may be of a potential interest in cell replacement based therapies of neurodegenerative diseases affecting the striatum such as Huntington's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / agonists
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / genetics
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / metabolism


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Npy1r protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y
  • Bromodeoxyuridine