Exogenous neuropeptide Y promotes in vivo hippocampal neurogenesis

Hippocampus. 2011 Mar;21(3):233-8. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20765.


Adult neurogenesis mainly occurs in two brain regions, the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is widely expressed throughout the brain and is known to enhance in vitro hippocampal cell proliferation. Mice lacking either NPY or the Y1 receptor display lower levels of cell proliferation, thereby suggesting a role for NPY in basal in vivo neurogenesis. Here, we investigated whether exogenous NPY stimulates DG progenitors proliferation in vivo. We show that intracerebroventricular administration of NPY increases DG cell proliferation and promotes neuronal differentiation in C57BL/6 adult mice. In these mice, the proliferative effect of NPY is mediated by the Y1 and not the Y2 receptor, as a Y1 ([Leu(31) ,Pro(34) ]), but not a Y2 (NPY(3-36) ), receptor agonist enhanced proliferation. In addition, no NPY-induced DG cellular proliferation is observed following NPY injection when coadministered with a Y1 antagonist or in the Y1 receptor knockout mouse. These results are in line with data obtained in Y1(-/-) mice, demonstrating that NPY regulates in vivo hippocampal neurogenesis. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Dentate Gyrus / cytology
  • Dentate Gyrus / drug effects
  • Dentate Gyrus / metabolism*
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Neurogenesis* / drug effects
  • Neurogenesis* / physiology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuropeptide Y / administration & dosage*
  • Neuropeptide Y / chemistry
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / agonists
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / deficiency
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y
  • neuropeptide Y-Y1 receptor
  • neuropeptide Y2 receptor