Evidence for a Cardiovascular Role of Central Galanin Neurons: PDF OnlyHärfstrand A.; Fuxe, K.; Melander, T.; Hökfelt, T.; Agnati, L. F.Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: 1987 - p S199-S204 Free Abstract Summary: By means of immunocytochemical analysis using the indirect immunofluorescence method, and by means of receptor autoradiography using 125I-galanin as a radioligand, further evidence has been obtained for the existence of pre- and postsynaptic features of galanin neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (nTS) and the dorsal motor nuclcus of the vagus (dmnX) of the male rat. Thus, a high density of galanin immunoreactive nerve terminals was found within the medial subnucleus of the nTS, in the periventricular region and within the medial part of the dmnX. High densities of 125I-galanin binding sites were found in the entire medial and lateral part of the nTS and in the dmnX as evaluated at a level approximately 1-2 mm rostral to obex. The physiological studies were performed in α-chloralose anesthetized male rats by injecting galanin in the nmolar range i.c. and measuring mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate (HR). The results showed a weak hypotensive action of galanin (3 nmol) and a clearcut tachycardic action (10 nmol). When administered simultaneously with clonidine no additive effects were observed on mean arterial blood pressure but the bradycardic action of clonidine was blocked and the tachycardic action of galanin prevailed. Similar results were obtained when galanin was injected simultaneously with NPY. These results indicate a cardiovascular role of galanin, and the morphological evidence favors the view that the galaninergic mechanism involved is located within the dorsal cardiovascular center of the medulla oblongata. The results obtained on the interaction of galanin synapses with α2-adrenergic and NPY mechanisms are of substantial interest, since they indicate that the descending fibers from the hypothalamic defense area by activating galaninergic mechanisms in the nTS can override the bradycardic action of α2-adrenoreceptor activation within the medulla oblongata and thus probably also the bradycardic effects of activation of the vasodepressor reflex arch. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. A. Härfstrand at Department of Histology, Karolinska Institutet, Box 60400, S-104 01 Stockholm, Sweden. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.