, Volume 65, Issue 12, pp 1864-1871
Date: 27 May 2008

Galanin – 25 years with a multitalented neuropeptide

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Neuroanatomical localization and physiological properties of galanin suggest that the peptide may be involved in the regulation of seizures. Indeed, administration of galanin receptor agonists into brain areas pertinent to the initiation and propagation of epileptic activity attenuated seizure responses under conditions of animal models of epilepsy; pharmacological blocking of galanin receptors exerted proconvulsant effects. Functional deletion of both galanin and galanin type 1 receptor genes produced transgenic mice with either spontaneous seizure phenotype, or with enhanced susceptibility to seizure stimuli. At the same time, overexpression of galanin in seizure pathways, using both transgenic and virus vector transfection techniques, hindered the epileptic process. Galanin exerts anticonvulsant effects through both type 1 and type 2 receptors, with distinct downstream signaling cascades. Several synthetic agonists of galanin receptors with optimized bioavailability have been synthesized and inhibited experimental seizures upon systemic administration, thus opening an opportunity for the development of galanin-based antiepileptic drugs. (Part of a Multi-author Review)