Definitions for galanin
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Galanin is a neuropeptide encoded by the GAL gene, that is widely expressed in the brain, spinal cord, and gut of humans as well as other mammals. Galanin signaling occurs through three G protein-coupled receptors. The functional role of galanin remains largely unknown; however, galanin is predominately involved in the modulation and inhibition of action potentials in neurons. Galanin has been implicated in many biologically diverse functions, including: nociception, waking and sleep regulation, cognition, feeding, regulation of mood, regulation of blood pressure, it also has roles in development as well as acting as a trophic factor. Galanin is linked to a number of diseases including Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy as well as depression, eating disorders and cancer. Galanin appears to have neuroprotective activity as its biosynthesis is increased 2-10 fold upon axotomy in the peripheral nervous system as well as when seizure activity occurs in the brain. It may also promote neurogenesis. Galanin is predominantly an inhibitory, hyperpolarizing neuropeptide and as such inhibits neurotransmitter release. Galanin is often co-localized with classical neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, and also with other neuromodulators such as neuropeptide Y, substance P, and vasoactive intestinal peptide.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A neuropeptide of 29-30 amino acids depending on the species. Galanin is widely distributed throughout the BRAIN; SPINAL CORD; and INTESTINES. There are various subtypes of GALANIN RECEPTORS implicating roles of galanin in regulating FOOD INTAKE; pain perception; memory; and other neuroendocrine functions.
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