Neuropeptide changes following excitotoxic lesion of the insular cortex in rats.

Research paper by R T RT Cheung, D F DF Cechetto

Indexed on: 27 Nov '95Published on: 27 Nov '95Published in: Journal of Comparative Neurology


Following middle cerebral artery occlusion in Wistar rats, the immunoreactivity of neuropeptide Y increased ipsilaterally in the insular cortex and basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. In addition, the immunoreactivity of leucine-enkephalin, dynorphin, and neurotensin increased in the ipsilateral central nucleus of the amygdala. The amygdalar neurochemical changes are likely the result of damage to the insular cortex, although other cortical areas were also affected by the ischemia. To investigate whether damage to the insular cortex is essential in eliciting these changes, a localized lesion of the right or left insular cortex was produced by microinjection of D,L-homocysteic acid. Control animals received injections of vehicle into the right or left insular cortex or D,L-homocysteic acid into the right primary somatosensory cortex. Neurochemical changes were examined immunohistochemically with the peroxidase-antiperoxidase reaction 5 days after the injection. The immunoreactivity of neuropeptide Y increased locally after excitotoxic damage to the insular cortex or primary somatosensory cortex. The amygdalar neurochemical changes, including neuropeptide Y increase in the basolateral nucleus and leucine-enkephalin, dynorphin, and neurotensin increase in the central nucleus, were seen only when the ipsilateral insular cortex was lesioned. These neurochemical changes were similar to those seen 5 days after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Our findings indicate that damage to the insular cortex is essential in eliciting the neurochemical changes in the ipsilateral amygdala. In addition, the change in neuropeptide Y in the cortex appears to be a local reaction occurring irrespective of location of the lesion and glutamate receptor activation may be involved.