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Neuropeptide Y (NPY)-immunoreactive neurons in the primate fascia dentata; occasional coexistence with calcium-binding proteins: a light and electron microscopic study



Neuropeptide Y (NPY)-immunoreactive neurons in the primate fascia dentata; occasional coexistence with calcium-binding proteins: a light and electron microscopic study



Journal of Comparative Neurology 309(4): 430-444



Neuropeptide Y (NPY)-containing neurons are known to be highly vulnerable following sustained electrical stimulation in rats and in humans suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy. This has been related to a strong excitatory input. In contrast, there is evidence that neurons containing calcium-binding proteins exhibit a high resistance under experimental seizure and hypoxia conditions. The aim of this study was to determine the coexistence of NPY and calcium-binding proteins in inhibitory neurons of the primate fascia dentata and their synaptic connections. Vibratome sections of hippocampi of African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) were immunostained with antibodies against NPY, PARV, and CB. A quantitative coexistence study was performed for NPY and PARV on consecutive semithin sections. In contrast to the rodent hippocampus, NPY-immunoreactive neurons were found exclusively in the hilus of fascia dentata with horizontally oriented dendrites which did not extend into the granular and molecular layer. Conversely, PARV-immunoreactive neurons were also present in the granular and inner molecular layer and extended their dendrites far out in the molecular layer and the hilus. Axon terminals immunoreactive for NPY were mostly concentrated in the middle and outer molecular layer and the hilar region and were rare in the granular layer. PARV-immunoreactive boutons were basically restricted to the granular layer where they formed typical baskets. The antibody against calbindin stained almost exclusively granule cells. Coexistence of NPY- and PARV-immunoreactivity was found only in hilar neurons and was rare (9 out of 152 cells analyzed). These results suggest that most NPY-immunoreactive neurons do not contain calcium-binding proteins. NPY-containing neurons exhibited ultrastructural characteristics as described for inhibitory neurons. Their dendrites were only sparsely contacted by mostly asymmetric synaptic terminals, including a very small number of mossy fiber axon terminals. In turn, numerous NPY-immunoreactive axon terminals formed symmetric synapses with spines and dendritic shafts of unlabeled neurons in the middle and outer molecular layer, whereas no contact with granule cell bodies was evident. Thus, we conclude that the vulnerability of NPY-containing inhibitory neurons may be due more to the lack of calcium-binding proteins than to a strong excitatory innervation. As their axons may contribute to the inhibitory control of the major excitatory input from the entorhinal cortex, their loss following overstimulation may play a role in perpetuating hippocampal seizure activity.

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Accession: 040791748

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PMID: 1717521

DOI: 10.1002/cne.903090403


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