Cultured astrocytes express functional receptors for galanin

J Priller, C A Haas, M Reddington, G W Kreutzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neuropeptides galanin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are strongly up-regulated in motoneurons following axotomy. Earlier reports have suggested that peptides might be released from injured neurons to recruit surrounding glia. In this study, the effects of galanin and CGRP on cultured rat astrocytes were investigated using the expression of immediate early genes as a model for receptor-mediated transcriptional activation. Galanin was found to induce c-fos, junB, and Tis11 mRNA in cultured astrocytes, providing evidence for the presence of functional galanin receptors on neuroglial cells. In contrast, CGRP only led to the induction of c-fos and junB mRNA. Cholecystokinin (CCK-8) and substance P, which are also up-regulated in select motoneuron populations following axotomy, fail to induce immediate early genes in astrocytes, indicating specificity of neuropeptides in their ability to stimulate glial cells. The differential induction of immediate early gene expression by galanin and CGRP in astrocytes points to differences in intracellular signal transduction mechanisms. Whereas CGRP was found to stimulate the accumulation of cyclic AMP by 10- to 20-fold, galanin had no effect on basal cyclic AMP content. The effect of CGRP on cyclic AMP accumulation was completely reversed by the CGRP receptor antagonist, CGRP(8-37). These results suggest roles for galanin and CGRP in the transcriptional activation of astrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-8
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998


  • Animals
  • Astrocytes
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclic AMP
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Galanin
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Immediate-Early
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Receptors, Galanin
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide
  • Tristetraprolin
  • Journal Article


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