Effect of basal forebrain neuropeptide Y administration on sleep and spontaneous behavior in freely moving rats.

Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter Sétány 1/C, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary.
Brain Research Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.97). 06/2007; 72(4-6):293-301. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.01.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is present both in local neurons as well as in fibers in the basal forebrain (BF), an area that plays an important role in the regulation of cortical activation. In our previous experiments in anaesthetized rats, significant EEG changes were found after NPY injections to BF. EEG delta power increased while power in theta, alpha, and beta range decreased. The aim of the present experiments was to determine whether NPY infusion to BF can modulate sleep and behavior in freely moving rats. In this study, microinjections were made into the BF. Saline was injected to the control side, while either saline or one of two doses of NPY (0.5 microl, 300-500 pmol) to the treated side. EEG as well as behavioral changes were recorded. Behavioral elements after the NPY injections changed in a characteristic fashion in time and three consecutive phases were defined. In phase I (half hour 2), activated behavioral items (moving, rearing, grooming) appeared frequently. In phase II (half hours 3 and 4) activity decreased, while motionless state increased. Reappearance of activity was seen in phase III (half hours 5 and 6). NPY injections caused sleep-wake changes. The three phases described for behavioral changes were also reflected in the sleep data. During phase I, lower NPY dose increased wakefulness and decreased deep sleep. Reduced behavioral activity seen in phase II was partially reflected in the sleep. In this phase, wakefulness tended to increase in the third half hour, while decreased in the 4th half hour. Deep sleep and total slow wave sleep non-significantly decreased in the third and increased in the 4th half hour. In most cases, wakefulness was elevated again during Phase III, while sleep decreased. Length of single sleep-wake epochs did not change after NPY injections. Our results suggest a role for NPY in the integration of sleep and behavioral stages via the BF.

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Laszlo Zaborszky