Seizure activity induces transient changes in the levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and somatostatin (SS) in various brain regions, but it remains unclear whether this effect can persist for long periods and whether it is relevant to epileptogenesis. We report that brief seizures evoked by electroshock produced an increase in the number of NPY neurons in the dentate hilus and retrosplenial cortex, an effect that lasted 10 weeks. The number of hilar SS neurons remained unchanged. However, the pentylenetetrazole seizure threshold was somewhat decreased in electroshock-treated rats. Despite this, no spontaneous seizures were detected in this group. In contrast, status epilepticus (pilocarpine model) produced loss of the hilar NPY and SS cells. Moreover, all rats with status epilepticus showed spontaneous behavioral seizures and their seizure threshold was markedly decreased. These findings support the notion that sustained NPY overexpression induced by brief seizures can be important in preventing epileptogenesis.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.