Galanin-like peptide as a link in the integration of metabolism and reproduction
Steiner, Robert A.
Gottsch, Michelle L.
Clifton, Donald K.
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The arcuate nucleus is a hypothalamic center that couples energetics and reproduction. Peptide-releasing neurons in the arcuate nucleus receive and process humoral signals from the periphery and relay this information to other nuclei in the hypothalamus and preoptic area. Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is expressed in the arcuate nucleus, and GALP-containing neurons are targets for the action of leptin. GALP-containing neurons are closely apposed to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the preoptic area, and CNS injections of GALP stimulate GnRH-mediated secretion of luteinizing hormone. These observations indicate that GALP is a molecular signal that couples circulating indices of metabolism to the neuroendocrine reproductive system and, thus, regulates reproductive activity as a function of the energy state. In this article, we describe the involvement of GALP in metabolism and reproduction, and in the coupling between these two processes.