Galanin, galanin receptors and drug targets

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 Jun;65(12):1796-805. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-8153-8.


Galanin, a neuropeptide widely expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in the endocrine system, has been shown to regulate numerous physiological and pathological processes through interactions with three G-protein-coupled receptors, GalR1 through GalR3. Over the past decade, some of the receptor subtype-specific effects have been elucidated through pharmacological studies using subtype selective ligands, as well as through molecular approaches involving knockout animals. In the present review, we summarize the current data which constitute the basis of targeting GalR1, GalR2 and GalR3 for the treatment of various human diseases and pathological conditions, including seizure, Alzheimer's disease, mood disorders, anxiety, alcohol intake in addiction, metabolic diseases, pain and solid tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Galanin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Receptors, Galanin / agonists*
  • Receptors, Galanin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Galanin / physiology
  • Seizures / etiology


  • Receptors, Galanin
  • Galanin