Chronic environmental or genetic elevation of galanin in noradrenergic neurons confers stress resilience in mice

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
R. P. TillageDavid Weinshenker


The neuropeptide galanin has been implicated in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders in both humans and rodent models. While pharmacological treatments for these disorders are ineffective for many individuals, physical activity is beneficial for stress-related symptoms. Galanin is highly expressed in the noradrenergic system, particularly the locus coeruleus (LC), which is dysregulated in stress-related disorders and activated by exercise. Galanin expression is elevated in the LC by chronic exercise, and blockade of galanin transmission attenuates exercise-induced stress resilience. However, most research on this topic has been done in rats, so it is unclear whether the relationship between exercise and galanin is species-specific. Moreover, use of intracerebroventricular galanin receptor antagonists in prior studies precluded defining a causal role for LC-derived galanin specifically. Therefore, the goals of this study were twofold. First, we investigated whether physical activity (chronic voluntary wheel running) increases stress resilience and galanin expression in the LC of mice. Next, we used transgenic mice that overexpress galanin in noradrenergic neurons (Gal OX) to determine how chronically elevated noradrenergic-...Continue Reading

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