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Main article: Peptides

Galanin is a neuropeptide present in humans and other mammals. It is a peptide consisting of a chain of 29 amino acids (or 30 amino acids in humans).

Galanin is formed by the cleavage of a prepropeptide encoded by a gene known as GAL[1]. It is involved in a number of physiological processes such as regulation of food intake, metabolism and reproduction, regulation of neurotransmitter and hormone release, nociception, intestinal contraction and secretion, and more recently in nervous system development and response to injury. This wide diversity of action is mediated by several galanin receptor subtypes.

Galanin is predominantly an inhibitory, hyperpolarizing neuropeptide and as such inhibits neurotransmitter release. Galanin is often co-localized with classical neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, serotonin and norepinephrine and also with other neuromodulators such as Neuropeptide Y, Substance P and Vasoactive intestinal peptide.

Clinical implications

Galanin and its receptor are over expressed in limbic region of the brain in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. However it is not clear whether galanin exacerbates or is a protective response to the disease.[2][3]


  1. Entrez Gene: GAL galanin.
  2. Counts SE, Perez SE, Ginsberg SD, De Lacalle S, Mufson EJ (May 2003). Galanin in Alzheimer disease. Mol. Interv. 3 (3): 137–56.
  3. Counts SE, Perez SE, Mufson EJ (June 2008). Galanin in Alzheimer's disease: neuroinhibitory or neuroprotective?. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 65 (12): 1842–53.

Further reading

  • Wynick D, Thompson SW, McMahon SB (2002). The role of galanin as a multi-functional neuropeptide in the nervous system.. Current opinion in pharmacology 1 (1): 73–7.
  • Vrontakis ME (2003). Galanin: a biologically active peptide.. Current drug targets. CNS and neurological disorders 1 (6): 531–41.
  • Mufson EJ, Counts SE, Perez SE, Binder L (2005). Galanin plasticity in the cholinergic basal forebrain in Alzheimer's disease and transgenic mice.. Neuropeptides 39 (3): 233–7.
  • Berger A, Santic R, Hauser-Kronberger C, et al. (2005). Galanin and galanin receptors in human cancers.. Neuropeptides 39 (3): 353–9.
  • Robinson JK, Bartfai T, Langel U (2006). Galanin/GALP receptors and CNS homeostatic processes.. CNS & neurological disorders drug targets 5 (3): 327–34.
  • McKnight GL, Karlsen AE, Kowalyk S, et al. (1992). Sequence of human galanin and its inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from RIN cells.. Diabetes 41 (1): 82–7.
  • Gai WP, Geffen LB, Blessing WW (1990). Galanin immunoreactive neurons in the human hypothalamus: colocalization with vasopressin-containing neurons.. J. Comp. Neurol. 298 (3): 265–80.
  • Burleigh DE, Furness JB (1991). Distribution and actions of galanin and vasoactive intestinal peptide in the human colon.. Neuropeptides 16 (2): 77–82.
  • Fried G, Meister B, Rådestad A (1991). Peptide-containing nerves in the human pregnant uterine cervix: an immunohistochemical study exploring the effect of RU 486 (mifepristone).. Hum. Reprod. 5 (7): 870–6.
  • Bersani M, Johnsen AH, Højrup P, et al. (1991). Human galanin: primary structure and identification of two molecular forms.. FEBS Lett. 283 (2): 189–94.
  • Hyde JF, Engle MG, Maley BE (1991). Colocalization of galanin and prolactin within secretory granules of anterior pituitary cells in estrogen-treated Fischer 344 rats.. Endocrinology 129 (1): 270–6.
  • Bennet WM, Hill SF, Ghatei MA, Bloom SR (1991). Galanin in the normal human pituitary and brain and in pituitary adenomas.. J. Endocrinol. 130 (3): 463–7.
  • Schmidt WE, Kratzin H, Eckart K, et al. (1992). Isolation and primary structure of pituitary human galanin, a 30-residue nonamidated neuropeptide.. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 88 (24): 11435–9.
  • Bauer FE, Christofides ND, Hacker GW, et al. (1986). Distribution of galanin immunoreactivity in the genitourinary tract of man and rat.. Peptides 7 (1): 5–10.
  • Bauer FE, Adrian TE, Christofides ND, et al. (1986). Distribution and molecular heterogeneity of galanin in human, pig, guinea pig, and rat gastrointestinal tracts.. Gastroenterology 91 (4): 877–83.
  • Tainio H, Vaalasti A, Rechardt L (1987). The distribution of substance P-, CGRP-, galanin- and ANP-like immunoreactive nerves in human sweat glands.. Histochem. J. 19 (6-7): 375–80.
  • Maggi CA, Santicioli P, Patacchini R, et al. (1988). Galanin: a potent modulator of excitatory neurotransmission in the human urinary bladder.. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 143 (1): 135–7.
  • Marti E, Gibson SJ, Polak JM, et al. (1988). Ontogeny of peptide- and amine-containing neurones in motor, sensory, and autonomic regions of rat and human spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, and rat skin.. J. Comp. Neurol. 266 (3): 332–59.
  • Beal MF, Clevens RA, Chattha GK, et al. (1988). Galanin-like immunoreactivity is unchanged in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease dementia cerebral cortex.. J. Neurochem. 51 (6): 1935–41.
  • Berrettini WH, Kaye WH, Sunderland T, et al. (1989). Galanin immunoreactivity in human CSF: studies in eating disorders and Alzheimer's disease.. Neuropsychobiology 19 (2): 64–8.

See also

External links

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