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Open AccessArticle

Involvement of Neuropeptide Galanin Receptors 2 and 3 in Learning, Memory and Anxiety in Aging Mice

Research Program for Receptor Biochemistry and Tumor Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, Paracelsus Medical University, Müllner Hauptstraße 48, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Biophysics, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria
Institute of Experimental Neuroregeneration, Spinal Cord Injury and Tissue Regeneration Center Salzburg (SCI-TReCS), Paracelsus Medical University, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Austrian Cluster of Tissue Regeneration, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Jérôme Leprince, Hubert Vaudry and Billy KC Chow
Molecules 2021, 26(7), 1978;
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 22 March 2021 / Accepted: 24 March 2021 / Published: 1 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuropeptides: From Physiology to Therapeutic Applications)
The neuropeptide galanin (GAL), which is expressed in limbic brain structures, has a strong impact on the regulation of mood and behavior. GAL exerts its effects via three G protein-coupled receptors (GAL1–3-R). Little is known about the effects of aging and loss of GAL-Rs on hippocampal-mediated processes connected to neurogenesis, such as learning, memory recall and anxiety, and cell proliferation and survival in the dorsal dentate gyrus (dDG) in mice. Our results demonstrate that loss of GAL3-R, but not GAL2-R, slowed learning and induced anxiety in older (12–14-month-old) mice. Lack of GAL2-R increased cell survival (BrdU incorporation) in the dDG of young mice. However, normal neurogenesis was observed in vitro using neural stem and precursor cells obtained from GAL2-R and GAL3-R knockouts upon GAL treatment. Interestingly, we found sub-strain differences between C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N mice, the latter showing faster learning, less anxiety and lower cell survival in the dDG. We conclude that GAL-R signaling is involved in cognitive functions and can modulate the survival of cells in the neurogenic niche, which might lead to new therapeutic applications. Furthermore, we observed that the mouse sub-strain had a profound impact on the behavioral parameters analyzed and should therefore be carefully considered in future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: learning; aging; galanin; neuropeptide; knock-out; behavior learning; aging; galanin; neuropeptide; knock-out; behavior
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MDPI and ACS Style

Locker, F.; Bieler, L.; Nowack, L.M.F.; Leitner, J.; Brunner, S.M.; Zaunmair, P.; Kofler, B.; Couillard-Despres, S. Involvement of Neuropeptide Galanin Receptors 2 and 3 in Learning, Memory and Anxiety in Aging Mice. Molecules 2021, 26, 1978.

AMA Style

Locker F, Bieler L, Nowack LMF, Leitner J, Brunner SM, Zaunmair P, Kofler B, Couillard-Despres S. Involvement of Neuropeptide Galanin Receptors 2 and 3 in Learning, Memory and Anxiety in Aging Mice. Molecules. 2021; 26(7):1978.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Locker, Felix; Bieler, Lara; Nowack, Lioba M.F.; Leitner, Julia; Brunner, Susanne M.; Zaunmair, Pia; Kofler, Barbara; Couillard-Despres, Sebastien. 2021. "Involvement of Neuropeptide Galanin Receptors 2 and 3 in Learning, Memory and Anxiety in Aging Mice" Molecules 26, no. 7: 1978.

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