The neuropeptide galanin is widely, but not ubiquitously, expressed in the adult nervous system. Its expression is markedly up-regulated in many neuronal tissues after nerve injury or disease. Over the last 10 years, we have demonstrated that the peptide plays a developmental survival role to subsets of neurons in the peripheral and central nervous systems with resulting phenotypic changes in neuropathic pain and cognition. Galanin also appears to play a trophic role to adult sensory neurons following injury, via activation of GalR2, by stimulating neurite outgrowth. Furthermore, galanin also plays a neuroprotective role to the hippocampus following excitotoxic injury, again mediated by activation of GalR2. Most recently, we have shown that galanin expression is markedly up-regulated in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions and in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS. Over-expression of galanin in transgenic mice abolishes disease in the EAE model, whilst loss-of-function mutations in galanin or GalR2 increase disease severity. In summary, these studies demonstrate that a GalR2 agonist might have clinical utility in a variety of human diseases that affect the nervous system.
|Translated title of the contribution||Galanin acts as a trophic factor to the central and peripheral nervous systems|
|Title of host publication||Galanin|
|Pages||25 - 38|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|