Volume 102 of the series Experientia Supplementum pp 71-85


Galanin and the Neuroendocrine Axes

  • Istvan MerchenthalerAffiliated withDepartments of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine and Anatomy & Neurobiology, University of Maryland Email author 

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Galanin has diverse physiological functions, including nociception, arousal/sleep regulation, cognition, and many aspects of neuroendocrine activities that are associated with feeding, energy metabolism, thermoregulation, osmotic and water balance, and reproduction. This review will provide a brief overview of galanin action in some major neuroendocrine processes. Most of the recent data are about the role of galanin in the central regulation of food intake and energy metabolism, and to some extent, in the regulation of reproduction. It seems that galanin plays a modulatory role rather than a regulatory one in the central and peripheral branches of the neuroendocrine systems. In the hypothalamus, it functions as a neurotransmitter/ neuromodulator. In the pituitary and the peripheral endocrine glands, it acts via its receptors in a paracrine/autocrine fashion. The development of new, selective, and potent antagonists of GALRs should keep advancing our knowledge not only in the physiology of galanin but also in its pathophysiology.


Adrenocorticotroph Hypothalamus Pituitary Gonadotroph Lactotroph Somatotroph Thyreotroph