The role of the neuropeptide galanin in forming type-specific behavioral characteristics
State Research Institute of Experimental Medicine, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, 12 Academician Pavlov Street, 197376, St. Petersburg, Russia. Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology
02/2008; 38(1):93-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11055-008-0013-3
Intranasal administration of a galanin receptor blocker to rats was found to change their behavioral type on being placed in an unfamiliar environment, with decreases in movement and investigative activity and increases in the level of anxiety in the open field test. The basal level of expression of the galanin precursor mRNA in the anterior hypothalamus was significantly higher in rats with the active type of behavior in the open field test. In conditions of galanin receptor blockade, there was also a faster increase in the serum corticosterone level in response to a stress situation (forced swimming test), which was accompanied by a reduction in the immobilization time. These data support the involvement of galanin in the formation of individual-typological behavioral characteristics and demonstrate its important role in adaptation to stress.
Available from: Nitsan Kozlovsky
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ABSTRACT: Converging evidence implicates the regulatory neuropeptide galanin in anxiety- and depression-related behaviors, through modulation of neuroendocrine, serotonergic, and noradrenergic systems. This study examined the relationship between stress-induced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-like behavioral response patterns in rats and galanin mRNA levels in key brain areas and the effects of acute phase pharmacologic manipulation using an agonist (galnon) on behavioral, physiologic, and response patterns of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and 5-hydroxytryptamine-1A (5HT-1A).
Galanin mRNA expression was assessed in the frontal cortex and hippocampus in the short- and long-term (30 min and 7 days) after exposure to predator scent stress. The effects of intraperitoneal galnon .5 mg/kg versus saline 1 hour postexposure on behavioral tests (elevated plus maze and acoustic startle response) were evaluated 7 days later. Trauma-cue response, circulating corticosterone, and localized brain expression of 5HT-1A receptors and BDNF were subsequently assessed. All data were analyzed in relation to individual behavior patterns.
Whereas animals with minimal behavioral disruption displayed a lasting upregulation of galanin mRNA in the hippocampal CA1 area, those with extreme behavioral responses displayed downregulation in both CA1 and frontal cortex. Immediate postexposure treatment with galnon significantly reduced prevalence rates of extreme responders, reduced trauma-cue freezing responses, corrected the corticosterone response, and increased CA1 expression of 5HT-1A and BDNF mRNA compared with saline controls.
Galanin is actively involved in the neurobiological response to predator scent stress with resilience/recovery after stress exposure and thus warrants further study as a potential therapeutic avenue for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders.
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ABSTRACT: In recent years, studies have advocated neuropeptide systems as modulators for the behavioral states found in mood disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. Neuropeptides have been tested in traditional animal models and screening procedures that have been validated by known antidepressants and anxiolytics. However, it has become clear that although these tests are very useful, neuropeptides have distinct behavioral effects and dose-dependent characteristics, and therefore, use of these tests with neuropeptides must be done with an understanding of their unique characteristics. This review will focus on the behavioral actions of neuropeptides and their synthetic analogs, particularly in studies utilizing various preclinical tests of depression and anxiety. Specifically, the following neuropeptide systems will be reviewed: corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), urocortin (Ucn), teneurin C-terminal associated peptide (TCAP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), arginine vasopressin (AVP), oxytocin, the Tyr-MIF-1 family, cholecystokinin (CCK), galanin, and substance P. These neuropeptide systems each have a unique role in the regulation of stress-like behavior, and therefore provide intriguing therapeutic targets for mood disorder treatment.
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ABSTRACT: This review is aimed at understanding some of the common neurochemical, behavioral and physiological determinants of drug and food overconsumption. Much current work has been devoted to determining the similarities between the brain circuits controlling excessive use of addictive drugs and the overconsumption of palatable foods. The brain systems involved likely include peptides of both mesolimbic and hypothalamic origin. Evidence gathered from expression and injection studies suggests that the consumption of drugs, such as ethanol and nicotine, and also of palatable foods rich in fat is stimulated by different orexigenic peptides, such as enkephalin, galanin, orexin, and melaninconcentrating hormone, acting within the hypothalamus or various limbic structures, while another peptide, neuropeptide Y, is closely related to carbohydrate consumption and shows an inverse relationship with ethanol and nicotine consumption. Moreover, studies in animal models suggest that a propensity to overconsume these reinforcing substances may result from preexisting disturbances in these same peptide systems. These neurochemical disturbances, in turn, may also be closely linked to specific behaviors associated with excessive consummatory behavior, such as hyperactivity or novelty-seeking, palatable food preference, and also fluctuations in circulating lipid levels. Clear understanding of the relationship between these various determinants of consummatory behavior will allow researchers to effectively predict and examine at early stages of exposure animals that are prone to drug and food overconsumption. This work may ultimately aid in the identification of inherent traits that increase the risk for drug abuse and palatable food overconsumption.
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