• learned helplessness (LH);
  • neuropeptide Y (NPY);
  • depression;
  • hippocampus;
  • behavior


A couple of papers indicate that patients with depression show a decrease in serum neuropeptide Y (NPY). To study the role of NPY in depression, we examined the effects of infusion of NPY into the hippocampus of learned helplessness (LH) rats (an animal model of depression). Infusion of NPY into the cerebral ventricle of LH rats showed antidepressant-like effects. Infusion of NPY into the CA3 region, but not the dentate gyrus (DG), produced antidepressant-like effects in the LH paradigm. Infusion of NPY did not affect locomotor activity or aversive learning ability. Coadministration of BIBO3304 (a Y1 receptor antagonist) with NPY to the CA3 region blocked the antidepressant-like effects of NPY, whereas coadministration of NPY with BIIE0246 (a Y2 receptor antagonist) to the CA3 region failed to block antidepressant-like effects. Furthermore, infusions of [Leu31 Pro34]PYY (a Y1 and Y5 receptor agonist) alone and BIIE0246 alone into the CA3 region produced the antidepressant-like effects in LH rats. These results suggest that infusion of NPY into the CA3 region of hippocampus of LH rats produces antidepressant-like activity through Y1 receptors and attenuating effects through Y2 receptors. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.