Like a number of neuropeptides, galanin can alter neural activity in brain areas that are important for both stress-related behaviors and responses to drugs of abuse. Accordingly, drugs that target galanin receptors can alter behavioral responses to drugs of abuse and can modulate stress-related behaviors. Stress and drug-related behaviors are interrelated: stress can promote drug-seeking, and drug exposure and withdrawal can increase activity in brain circuits involved in the stress response. We review here what is known about the ability of galanin and galanin receptors to alter neuronal activity, and we discuss potential mechanisms that may underlie the effects of galanin on behaviors involved in responses to stress and addictive drugs. Understanding the mechanisms underlying galanin's effects on neuronal function in brain regions related to stress and addiction may be useful in developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of stress- and addiction-related disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology