Comparative distribution of central neuropeptide y (NPY) in the prairie (Microtus ochrogaster) and meadow (M. pennsylvanicus) vole

Caroline M. Hostetler, Leah N. Hitchcock, Allison M.J. Anacker, Larry J. Young, Andrey E. Ryabinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been implicated as a modulator of social behavior, often in a species-specific manner. Comparative studies of closely related vole species are particularly useful for identifying neural systems involved in social behaviors in both voles and humans. In the present study, immunohistochemistry was performed to compare NPY-like immunoreactivity (-ir) in brain tissue of the socially monogamous prairie vole and non-monogamous meadow vole. Species differences in NPY-ir were observed in a number of regions including the cortex, extended amygdala, septal area, suprachiasmatic nucleus, and intergeniculate leaf. Meadow voles had higher NPY-ir in all these regions as compared to prairie voles. No differences were observed in the striatum or hippocampus. The extended amygdala and lateral septum are regions that play a key role in regulation of monogamous behaviors such as pair bonding and paternal care. The present study suggests NPY in these regions may be an additional modulator of these species-specific social behaviors. Meadow voles had moderately higher NPY-ir in a number of hypothalamic regions, especially in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Meadow voles also had much higher levels of NPY-ir in the intergeniculate leaflet, another key region in the regulation of circadian rhythms. Overall, species differences in NPY-ir were observed in a number of brain regions implicated in emotion, stress, circadian, and social behaviors. These findings provide additional support for a role for the NPY system in species-typical social behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalPeptides
Volume40
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

Keywords

  • Circadian patterns
  • Meadow vole
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Prairie vole
  • Social behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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