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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 545386, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/545386
Review Article

Peripheral Galanin Receptor 2 as a Target for the Modulation of Pain

1School of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Bristol, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK
2School of Clinical Sciences South Bristol, University of Bristol, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK

Received 8 August 2011; Accepted 19 October 2011

Academic Editor: Carlos Amilcar Parada

Copyright © 2012 Richard P. Hulse et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The neuropeptide galanin is widely expressed in the nervous system and has an important role in nociception. It has been shown that galanin can facilitate and inhibit nociception in a dose-dependent manner, principally through the central nervous system, with enhanced antinociceptive actions after nerve injury. However, following nerve injury, expression of galanin within the peripheral nervous system is dramatically increased up to 120-fold. Despite this striking increase in the peripheral nervous system, few studies have investigated the role that galanin plays in modulating nociception at the primary afferent nociceptor. Here, we summarise the recent work supporting the role of peripherally expressed galanin with particular reference to the dual actions of the galanin receptor 2 in neuropathic pain highlighting this as a potential target analgesic.