Recent studies suggest that galanin receptors may be expressed by mucosal epithelial cells lining the GI tract and play a role in regulating ion transport. However, no information exists as to which receptor subtype is expressed by these mucosal cells, or the relative distribution of such receptors within the GI tract. In this study we cloned the human galanin-1 receptor (huGal 1-R) from small intestinal RNA, and demonstrate its expression in endoscopically obtained mucosal pinch biopsies by RT-PCR from the esophagus to the rectum. Semi-quantitative PCR (SQ-PCR) was performed and revealed the largest amount of huGal 1-R message in the duodenum and the least amount in the gastric fundus. This study for the first time directly demonstrates the presence and quantity of huGal 1-R message in human G1 tract mucosal epithelial cells, and suggests that this subtype is of primary importance in regulating galanin-induced changes in intestinal absorption.