Distribution of galanin messenger RNA-expressing cells in murine brain and their regulation by leptin in regions of the hypothalamus

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Distribution of galanin messenger RNA-expressing cells in murine brain and their regulation by leptin in regions of the hypothalamus

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Title: Distribution of galanin messenger RNA-expressing cells in murine brain and their regulation by leptin in regions of the hypothalamus
Author: Clifton, Donald K.; Steiner, Robert A.; Hohmann, John G.; Cheung, Clement C.
Abstract: Galanin is widely distributed throughout the mammalian brain and has been implicated in the regulation of food intake, metabolism and reproduction-functions that are also thought to be under the control of leptin. To investigate the possible role of galanin in mediating the physiological effects of leptin in the mouse, we had three experimental objectives: first, to map the distribution of galanin messenger RNA-expressing cells in the brain of the mouse; second, to assess the effects of leptin on galanin gene expression in areas of the brain thought to be involved in the regulation of body weight and reproduction; and third, to determine whether galanin neurons in these regions express leptin receptor messenger RNA. We found the pattern of galanin messenger RNA expression in the mouse brain to be similar, but not identical, to that in the rat. Leptin treatment (2microg/g for six days) significantly reduced cellular levels of galanin messenger RNA in the hypothalamic periventricular nucleus of leptin-deficient obese (ob/ob) mice (P<0.01) by approximately 30%; however, leptin did not appear to influence the expression of galanin in the arcuate or dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Galanin-producing neurons in the arcuate, dorsomedial and periventricular nuclei did not appear to express leptin receptor messenger RNA (P>0.05). These results demonstrate that galanin distribution patterns in the mouse brain are comparable to other species and, yet, possess unique features. In addition, galanin-expressing neurons in the hypothalamic periventricular nucleus are targets for regulation by leptin; however, the effect of leptin on galanin gene expression is likely to be mediated indirectly, perhaps through either proopiomelanocortin- or neuropeptide Y-expressing cells in the hypothalamus.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/4392

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