Neuropeptide Y modulates neurotransmitter release and Ca2+ currents in rat sensory neurons

M. W. Walker, D. A. Ewald, T. M. Perney, R. J. Miller

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171 Scopus citations


Using 125I-labeled neuropeptide Y (NPY) and peptide YY (PYY), we demonstrated the existence of specific receptors for these peptides on rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells grown in primary culture. Scatchard analysis of membrane homogenates indicated that the peptides bound to 2 populations of sites, with approximate affinities of 0.08 and 6.5 nM. Only low levels of binding were detected on sympathetic neurons cultured from the same animals or on a variety of neuronal clonal cell lines. The binding of 125I-NPY and 125I-PYY to DRG cell membranes was considerably reduced by the nonhydrolyzable analog of GTP, Gpp(NH)p. The major effect of Gpp(NH)p was to reduce the number of low-affinity NPY binding sites without altering the number of high-affinity binding sites. NPY potently inhibited Ca2+ currents recorded under voltage clamp in rat DRG cells. Both the transient and sustained portions of the Ca2+ current were inhibited. The inhibitory effects of NPY were completely blocked following treatment of the cells with pertussis toxin. Depolarization elicited a large influx of Ca2+ into DRG neurons as assessed using fura-2-based microspectrofluorimetry. This influx of Ca2+ could be partially inhibited by NPY. Furthermore, NPY effectively inhibited the depolarization-induced release of substance P from DRG cells in vitro. Thus, NPY may be an important regulator of sensory neuron function in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2438-2446
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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