Galanin‐Like Immunoreactivity Is Increased in the Postmortem Cerebral Cortex from Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

Steven M. Gabriel*, Linda M. Bierer, Michael Davidson, Dushyant P. Purohit, Daniel P. Perl, Vahram Harotunian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Galanin is a peptide that is associated with cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain and, thus, of interest for the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, human galanin‐like immunoreactivity was measured in postmortem human cerebral cortical tissues by using a homologous radioimmunoassay. In an initial study, six cerebral cortical regions were evaluated from nine elderly controls, 13 neuropathologically verified Alzheimer's disease patients, and 19 elderly schizophrenics. A significant 65% increase in galanin was found in frontal cortex Brodmann area 8 of Alzheimer's disease patients compared with controls. In contrast, cerebral cortical tissues from elderly schizophrenics were not different from those from elderly controls in any region. In a second study, 10 cerebral cortical regions were evaluated from 50 neuropathologically verified Alzheimer's disease patients and nine elderly controls. Concentrations of galanin were increased significantly 26–61% in six of 10 cerebral cortical regions examined (Brodmann areas F8, F44, T20, T21, T36, and P22). Purification of brain extracts by size‐exclusion Sephadex G‐50 chromatography revealed that human galanin‐like immunoreactivity eluted in two peaks of different molecular weights. These studies reveal increased concentrations of galanin in the cerebral cortex of Alzheimer's disease, similar to previous findings in basal forebrain tissue. Because galanin inhibits cholinergic neurotransmission, these findings may have important implications in the understanding of Alzheimer's disease neuropathology and associated cognitive deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1523
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute on AgingP50AG005138


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Dementia
    • Galanin
    • Neurodegeneration
    • Neuropeptides


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