University Of Tasmania

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Pathogenic or protective? Neuropeptide Y in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 01:56 authored by Courtney Clark, Rosemary ClarkRosemary Clark, Hoyle, JA, Tracey DicksonTracey Dickson
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is an endogenous peptide of the central and enteric nervous systems which has gained significant interest as a potential neuroprotective agent for treatment of neurodegenerative disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an aggressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor deficits and motor neuron loss. In ALS, recent evidence from ALS patients and animal models has indicated that NPY may have a role in the disease pathogenesis. Increased NPY levels were found to correlate with disease progression in ALS patients. Similarly, NPY expression is increased in the motor cortex of ALS mice by end stages of the disease. Although the functional consequence of increased NPY levels in ALS is currently unknown, NPY has been shown to exert a diverse range of neuroprotective roles in other neurodegenerative diseases; through modulation of potassium channel activity, increased production of neurotrophins, inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy, reduction of excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and hyperexcitability. Several of these mechanisms and signalling pathways are heavily implicated in the pathogenesis of ALS. Therefore, in this review, we discuss possible effects of NPY and NPY-receptor signalling in the ALS disease context, as determining NPY's contribution to, or impact on, ALS disease mechanisms will be essential for future studies investigating the NPY system as a therapeutic strategy in this devastating disease.


Publication title

Journal of Neurochemistry








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Raven Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2020 International Society for Neurochemistry

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Treatment of human diseases and conditions