The role of neuropeptide Y in the amygdala on corticotropin-releasing factor receptor-mediated behavioral stress responses in the rat

Tammy J. Sajdyk, Stephanie D. Fitz, Anantha Shekhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is one of the most abundant peptides in the brain and has been shown to be a critical regulator of emotionality, most notably for its effect in decreasing anxiety-like behaviors. The stress response in both humans and animals has been shown to involve a cascade of biological events initiated by corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), another centrally acting peptide. Interestingly, NPY and CRF are present in similar brain regions mediating stress responses and may act in an opposing fashion. The basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) is a distinct division of the amygdala and contains CRF receptors and the highest concentration of NPY neurons. The current study investigates the behavioral effects in rodents when NPY is injected directly into the BLA prior to the pharmacological stressor, urocortin I (Ucn; a CRF receptor agonist) or the emotional stressor, restraint. The animals that underwent restraint were evaluated in the social interaction (SI) test, while those injected with Ucn into the BLA were assessed in the two floor choice test, a modified version of the conditioned-place avoidance paradigm. The results showed that injections of NPY into the BLA prior to Ucn significantly blocked the development of the avoidance behavior in the two floor choice test and the decrease in SI time that is usually seen following restraint stress. These results provide further support that an interaction between NPY and CRF within the BLA may be critical for maintaining a normal homeostatic emotional state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalStress
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Conditioned place avoidance
  • Emotional homeostasis
  • Restraint stress
  • Social interaction
  • Urocortin I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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