Effects of alarin on food intake, body weight and luteinizing hormone secretion in male mice
Alarin is a member of the galanin family of neuropeptides that includes galanin and galanin-like peptide (GALP). Alarin is an alternate transcript of the GALP gene and is expressed in the brain and periphery. Recently, it was shown in male rats that alarin is an orexigenic peptide that also regulates reproductive hormone secretion. We hypothesized that alarin would also have similar central effects on feeding and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in mice as observed in rats. To test this hypothesis, we treated male mice with alarin intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) and measured its effects on food intake, body weight, body temperature, LH secretion, and Fos induction. We observed that i.c.v, injection of 1.0 nmol alarin significantly increased immediate food intake (p < 0.01) from 30 to 120 min post-injection and relative body weight (p < 0.05) after 24 h. Alarin had no effect on body temperature compared to controls. Alarin increased LH levels in male mice, an effect that was dependent on gonadotropin-Releasing-Hormone (GnRH) signaling. Furthermore, alarin-stimulated Fos immunoreactivity was observed in diencephalic nuclei, including the hypothalamic dorsomedial nucleus and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Our studies demonstrated that alarin, like other members of the galanin peptide family, is a neuromediator of food intake and reproductive hormone secretion in male mice. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.