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      Analysis of the Contribution of Galanin Receptors 1 and 2 to the Central Actions of Galanin-Like Peptide

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          Galanin-like peptide (GALP) shares partial sequence identity with galanin and exhibits agonistic activity at two of the galanin receptor subtypes (GALR1 and GALR2) in vitro. The goal of these experiments was to determine whether galanin receptors mediate the effects of central GALP administration on food intake, body weight, and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in the mouse. We first evaluated the effects of intracerebroventricular injections of GALP or its vehicle alone in GALR1 knockout mice, GALR2 knockout mice, and their respective wild-type controls. GALP reduced food intake and body weight after 24 h to a similar degree in wild-type, GALR1 knockout, and GALR2 knockout mice. The wild-type, GALR1 knockout, and GALR2 knockout mice also exhibited significant increases in serum levels of LH following the GALP injections. To help delineate the biologically active moiety of the GALP molecule, we injected wild-type mice with shorter fragments of the full-length GALP peptide. Neither GALP<sub>(1–21)</sub> (the fragment containing the galanin-homologous sequence) nor GALP<sub>(22–60)</sub> (the C-terminal portion of the GALP molecule lacking sequence identity with galanin) had any discernable effect on food intake, body weight or circulating LH. These observations demonstrate that neither GALR1 nor GALR2 are essential for mediating the effects of GALP on feeding, body weight or LH secretion. Furthermore, the galanin-homologous region of the GALP molecule is not sufficient to mimic the effects of full-length GALP. Together, these findings argue against the hypothesis that GALP signals solely through galanin receptors in vivoand suggest the existence of a yet-to-be-identified GALP-specific receptor.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Expression of the novel galanin receptor subtype GALR2 in the adult rat CNS: distinct distribution from GALR1.

          Recent molecular cloning studies by our laboratory and others have identified the existence of a novel rat galanin receptor subtype, GALR2. In the present study, we examined the regional and cellular distribution of GALR2 mRNA in the rat central nervous system (CNS) by in situ hybridization. For comparative purposes, adjacent sections were probed for GALR1 mRNA expression. Our findings indicate that dorsal root ganglia express by far the highest levels of GALR2 mRNA in the rat CNS. Hybridization signal is mainly concentrated over small and intermediate primary sensory neurons. In spinal cord, the large alpha motoneurons of the ventral horn are moderately labeled and several small, but less intensely labeled, cells are scattered throughout the gray matter. In brain sections, the highest levels of GALR2 mRNA are detected in granule cells of the dentate gyrus, in the mammillary nuclei, and in the cerebellar cortex. Moderate levels of GALR2 mRNA are observed in the olfactory bulb, olfactory tubercle, piriform and retrospinal cortices, hypothalamus (namely the preoptic area, arcuate nucleus, and dorsal hypothalamic area), substantia nigra pars compacta, and sensory trigeminal nucleus. Moderate to weak hybridization signal is also present in several other hypothalamic nuclei, specific layers of the neocortex, periaqueductal gray, and several nuclei within the pons and medulla, including locus coeruleus, lateral parabrachial, motor trigeminal, pontine reticular, hypoglossal, vestibular complex, ambiguus, and facial and lateral reticular nuclei. This novel pattern of GALR2 distribution within the rat CNS differs considerably from that of GALR1, suggesting that specific physiologic effects of galanin may be ascribed to the GALR2 galanin receptor subtype.
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            Isolation and cDNA cloning of a novel galanin-like peptide (GALP) from porcine hypothalamus.

             H Onda,  S Kumano,  T Kurokawa (1999)
            Galanin is a widely distributed neuropeptide with a variety of physiological functions. Three galanin receptor subtypes, GALR1, GALR2, and GALR3, have been reported. We isolated a novel galanin-like peptide (GALP) from porcine hypothalamus by observing its activity for increasing [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding to a membrane preparation of GALR2-transfected cells. The peptide had 60 amino acid residues and a non-amidated C terminus. The amino acid sequence of GALP-(9-21) was completely identical to that of galanin-(1-13). A cloned porcine GALP cDNA indicated that GALP was processed from a 120-amino acid GALP precursor protein. The structures of rat and human GALP-(1-60) were deduced from cloned cDNA, which indicated that the amino acid sequences 1-24 and 41-53 were highly conserved between humans, rats, and pigs. Receptor binding studies revealed that porcine GALP-(1-60) had a high affinity for the GALR2 receptor (IC(50) = 0.24 nM) and a lower affinity for the GALR1 receptor (IC(50) = 4.3 nM). In contrast, galanin showed high affinity for the GALR1 (IC(50) = 0.097 nM) and GALR2 receptors (IC(50) = 0.48 nM). GALP is therefore an endogenous ligand that preferentially binds the GALR2 receptor, whereas galanin is relatively non-selective.
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              Restricted distribution of galanin receptor 3 (GalR3) mRNA in the adult rat central nervous system.

              Recent molecular cloning studies have established the existence of a third rat galanin receptor subtype, GalR3, however its precise distribution in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) is not well established. In the present study, we examined the regional and cellular distribution of GalR3 mRNA in the CNS of the rat by in situ hybridization. Our findings indicate that GALR3 mRNA expression in the rat brain is discrete and highly restricted, concentrated mainly in the preoptic/hypothalamic area. Within the hypothalamus, GalR3 expression was confined to the paraventricular, ventromedial and dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei. In addition to these hypothalamic nuclei, GalR3 mRNA-expressing cells were observed in the medial septum/diagonal band of Broca complex, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the medial amygdaloid nucleus, the periaqueductal gray, the lateral parabrachial nucleus, the dorsal raphe nucleus, the locus coeruleus, the medial medullary reticular formation and in one of the circumventricular organs, the subfornical organ. In the spinal cord, a faint but specific ISH signal was observed over the laminae I-II with a few moderately labeled cells distributed in laminae V and X. The neuroanatomical distribution of GalR3 suggests it might be involved in mediating documented effects of galanin on food intake, fluid homeostasis, cardiovascular function and nociception.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                June 2004
                28 July 2004
                : 79
                : 5
                : 268-277
                Departments of aPhysiology and Biophysics, bObstetrics and Gynecology, and cBiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash., and dNura, Inc., Seattle, Wash., USA
                79632 Neuroendocrinology 2004;79:268–277
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 35, Pages: 10
                Regulation of Hypothalamic Neurons by Neuropeptides


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