Fasting-induced changes of neuropeptide immunoreactivity in the lateral septum of male rats

Éva G. Kovács, F. Szalay, Katalin Halasy

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The objective of the present study was to determine the rostrocaudal distribution and the effect of reduced food intake (60% of the average daily food intake for 1-4 weeks) on the amount of leucine-enkephalin (Leu-enk), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and galanin (Gal) in the lateral septum of male rat brain. Using pre-embedding immunocytochemistry combined with densitometry on 60 μm serial vibratome sections we found that in control animals Leu-enk- immunoreactive elements showed an increasing density from rostral towards the medial part of the septum, then a gradual decrease towards the caudal direction. The distribution of NPY proved to be rather even along the examined sequence of sections with two smaller peaks roughly at the 1/3 and 2/3 of the rostrocaudal axis. Gal showed similar distribution but the peaks were shifted to more caudal direction. We also found that Leu-enk forms the most dense plexus followed by a moderate amount of NPY-positive axonal meshwork. Gal was present in the lowest amount along the lateral septal nuclei. The effect of reduced food intake was marked and differential in the case of the three examined peptides. During the first 2 weeks of reduced food intake NPY-immunoreactivity was upregulated as compared to the control, then it was reduced close to the control value by the 4th week. The changes in Gal immunoreactivity showed similar pattern. The average relative density of Leu-enk-immunoreactive elements immediately decreased as a result of reduced food intake for 1 week and it gradually decreased by the end of the 4th week. These results indicate that reduced food intake affects the expression of NPY, Gal and Leu-enk not only in the relevant hypothalamic neuroendocrine centres, but also in the lateral septal area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalActa biologica Hungarica
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005



  • Densitometry
  • Galanin
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Leucine-enkephalin
  • Neuropeptide Y

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Neurology

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