Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that binds and activates galanin receptors in vitro. Following the discovery of GALP, researchers have attempted to properly place it in the context of galanin receptor physiology. Central injections of GALP have revealed some common actions with galanin, such as acutely increased food intake and suppression of the thyroid axis. Other actions are unique to GALP, such as long-term inhibition of food intake and stimulation of luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in male rats. GALP and galanin also produce differential effects on expression of the immediate early gene product Fos in the brain. Determining which of these actions are dependent on galanin receptors (versus a putative GALP-specific receptor), as well as which actions represent the authentic physiology of endogenous GALP will require continued experimentation. GALP gene expression is positively regulated by several hormones involved in the control of energy balance and metabolism, namely leptin, insulin and thyroid hormone. Based on current evidence, GALP neurones may serve as a hypothalamic relay, transmitting information from the periphery to circuits within the brain involved in the physiological control of metabolism and reproduction.