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The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Neuropeptide S Activates Paraventricular Oxytocin Neurons to Induce Anxiolysis.


PMID 29118105

Abstract

Neuropeptides, such as neuropeptide S (NPS) and oxytocin (OXT), represent potential options for the treatment of anxiety disorders due to their potent anxiolytic profile. In this study, we aimed to reveal the mechanisms underlying the behavioral action of NPS, and present a chain of evidence that the effects of NPS within the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) are mediated via actions on local OXT neurons in male Wistar rats. First, retrograde studies identified NPS fibers originating in the brainstem locus coeruleus, and projecting to the PVN. FACS identified prominent NPS receptor expression in PVN-OXT neurons. Using genetically encoded calcium indicators, we further demonstrated that NPS reliably induces a transient increase in intracellular Ca