Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is widely distributed in the central and sympathetic nervous systems and has a variety of central actions including regulation of blood pressure and peripheral actions; e.g., continuous vasoconstriction and inhibition of catecholamine release. The NPY receptor can be divided into 2 subclasses (Y1, Y2), and these subclasses are coupled to GTP binding proteins (Gi, Go, Gp ...... ) . Recently, human and rat prepro-NPY mRNA and NPY gene structures have been determined by cDNA and genomic cloning and sequencing. The strong evolutionary conservation of these structures suggested that NPY is an essential peptidergic neurotransmitter. Little is known about the biosynthesis, processing, degradation of NPY and NPY gene expression. We showed that NPY gene expression and NPY biosynthesis are regulated by neural activity, hormone, and intracellular second messengers via neurotransmitter receptors. The change of NPY gene expression by these neural factors is considered to be a good model for a synaptic plasticity, because these changes cause the changes of synaptic transmission. Furthermore, because NPY is expressed in sympathetic neurons and its gene expression increased markedly on the differentiation of adrenergic cells, this study about NPY gene expression could provide good clues for elucidating the differentiation of sympathetic neurons.