Galanin receptor expression in cultured human keratinocytes and in normal human skin

Attila Dallos, Mária Kiss, Hilda Polyánka, Attila Dobozy, Lajos Kemény, Sándor Husz

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Galanin (GAL) is a biologically active neuropeptide that is widely distributed in the nervous system. GAL exerts diverse action via the GAL receptors (GALR1, GALR2, and GALR3), which belong in the superfamily of G-protein-coupled transmembrane receptors. In human skin, GAL-like immunoreactivity has been reported in free nerve endings and fibers of the dermis. The extraneuronal expression of GAL has also been demonstrated. Although the GALRs are essential for biological functions, the expressions of different GALR subtypes in cultured human keratinocytes have not yet been investigated. The aim of our study was to investigate the mRNA and protein expressions of the different GALRs in the HaCaT immortalized keratinocyte cell line and in cultured human keratinocytes. When reverse transcription (RT)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used with different GALR-specific primers, only GALR2 mRNA was identified in cultured HaCaT cells and keratinocytes. Sequencing of the PCR products proved the presence of GALR2 mRNA in the keratinocytes. The presence of GALR2 protein was next investigated, using a polyclonal antibody against human GALR2. Both the HaCaT cells and the cultured keratinocytes displayed specific immunohistochemical staining, with higher intensity on the surface of the keratinocytes. Immunohistochemical investigations of normal human skin specimens revealed that GALR2 was expressed with high intensity in the basal layer of the epidermis and also around the hair follicles in the dermis. GAL treatment of the keratinocytes resulted in an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration, suggesting that GALR2 is a functional receptor. Further studies are necessary to clarify the biological effects of GAL in the skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Peripheral Nervous System
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2006



  • Cutaneous nerve endings
  • Galanin receptors
  • Human keratinocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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