NYMC Faculty Publications


Cardiovascular Responses to Intranasal Neuropeptide Y in Single Prolonged Stress Rodent Model of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

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Second Department

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Third Department



Delivery of neuropeptide Y (NPY) to the brain by intranasal administration shows promise as non-invasive means for preventing or treating PTSD symptoms. Here, radiotelemetry and echocardiography were used to determine effects of intranasal NPY on cardiovascular functions in absence and presence of stress. Male adult Sprague Dawley rats were implanted with radiotelemetric probes, and subjected to single prolonged stress (SPS), followed by intranasal vehicle (V) or NPY (150mug) under conditions shown to prevent development of many of the behavioral neuroendocrine and biochemical impairments. In both groups, mean arterial pressure (MAP) rose rapidly peaking at about 125mmHg, remaining near maximal levels for 1h. SPS also elicited robust rise in heart rate (HR) which was mitigated by intranasal NPY, and significantly lower than V-treated rats 12-50min after exposure to SPS stressors. In the first hr. after SPS, locomotor activity was elevated but only in the V-treated group. By 3h, MAP returned to pre-stress levels in both groups with no further change when monitored for 6days. HR remained elevated during the 6h remaining light phase after SPS. Subsequently HR was at pre-SPS levels during the remaining days. However dark phase HR was low following SPS, gradually recovered over 6days and was associated with reduced activity. When administered in the absence of further stress, intranasal NPY or V elicited similar much smaller, short-lived rises in MAP and HR. Echocardiography revealed no change in HR, stroke volume (SV) or cardiac output (Q) with intranasal NPY in the absence of stress. SPS led to reduced SV and Q but was not affected by NPY. Overall the results demonstrate no major cardiovascular effects of intranasal NPY and indicate possible benefit from transient amelioration of HR response in line with its translational potential to combat PTSD and comorbid impairments.