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Behavioural brain research

Galanin, through GalR1 but not GalR2 receptors, decreases motivation at times of high appetitive behavior.


PMID 23142608

Abstract

Galanin is a 29/30-amino acid long neuropeptide that has been implicated in many physiological and behavioral functions. Previous research has shown that i.c.v. administration of galanin strongly stimulates food intake in sated rats when food is freely available, but fails to stimulate this consumption when an operant response requirement is present. Using fixed ratio (FR) schedules, we sought to further clarify galanin's role in motivated behavior by administering galanin i.c.v. to rats working on fixed ratio schedules requiring either a low work condition (FR1) or higher work conditions (FR>1) to obtain a 0.2% saccharin reward. Rats in the FR>1 group were assigned to either an FR3, FR5 or FR7 schedule of reinforcement. The rate of reinforcement decreased for only the FR>1 group as compared to saline controls. Furthermore, injections of GalR1 receptor agonist M617 led to a similar, marginally significant decrease in the number of reinforcers received in the FR>1 condition, but a decrease was not seen after injections of GalR2 receptor agonist M1153. Taken together, these results show that galanin may be playing a role in decreasing motivation at times of high appetitive behavior, and that this effect is likely mediated by the GalR1 receptor.