Role of galanin receptor 1 in gastric motility in rat

S. Guerrini, H. E. Raybould, L. Anselmi, A. Agazzi, E. Cervio, J. R. Reeve, M. Tonini, C. Sternini

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Galanin actions are mediated by distinct galanin receptors (GAL-R), GAL-R1, -R2 and -R3. We investigated the role of GAL-R1 in gastric motility and the expression of GAL-R1 in the rat stomach. In vivo, in urethane-anaesthetized rats, galanin (equipotent for all GAL-Rs) induced a short inhibition of gastric motility, followed by increase in tonic and phasic gastric motility; the latter was significantly reduced by the GAL-R1 antagonist, RWJ-57408. Galanin 1-16 (high affinity for GAL-R1 and -R2) induced a long-lasting decrease of intragastric pressure, which was not modified by RWJ-57408. In vitro, galanin and galanin 1-16 induced increase of intragastric pressure that was not affected by RWJ-57408. Tetrodotoxin (TTX) did not suppress the galanin excitatory effect, whereas the effect of galanin 1-16 on gastric contraction was increased by TTX- or N-nitro-L-arginine, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase. GAL-R1 immunoreactivity was localized to cholinergic and tachykinergic neurons and to neurons immunoreactive for nitric oxide synthase or vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. This study suggests that an extrinsic GAL-R1 pathway mediates the galanin excitatory action, whereas an extrinsic, non GAL-R1 pathway is likely to mediate the galanin inhibitory effect in vivo. GAL-R1 intrinsic neurons do not appear to play a major role in the control of gastric motility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Enteric pathways
  • Excitatory neurons
  • Extrinsic pathways
  • Inhibitory neurons
  • Intragastric pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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