Neuroprotective role for galanin in Alzheimer's disease.
Galanin (GAL) and GAL receptors (GALR) are overexpressed in degenerating brain regions associated with cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The functional consequences of GAL plasticity in AD are unclear. GAL inhibits cholinergic transmission in the hippocampus and impairs spatial memory in rodent models, suggesting that GAL overexpression exacerbates cognitive impairment in AD. By contrast, gene expression profiling of individual cholinergic basal forebrain (CBF) neurons aspirated from AD tissue revealed that GAL hyperinnervation positively regulates mRNAs that promote CBF neuronal function and survival. GAL also exerts neuroprotective effects in rodent models of neurotoxicity. These data support the growing concept that GAL overexpression preserves CBF neuron function, which may in turn delay the onset of symptoms of AD. Further elucidation of GAL activity in selectively vulnerable brain regions will help gauge the therapeutic potential of GALR ligands in the treatment of AD.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Counts, Scott E.; Perez, Sylvia E.; Ginsberg, Stephen D.; and Mufson, Elliott J., "Neuroprotective role for galanin in Alzheimer's disease." (2010). Translational Neuroscience. 1636.