GalR3 activation promotes adult neural stem cell survival in response to a diabetic milieu



Type 2 diabetes impairs adult neurogenesis which could play a role in the CNS complications of this serious disease. The goal of this study was to determine the potential role of galanin in protecting adult neural stem cells (NSCs) from glucolipotoxicity and to analyze whether apoptosis and the unfolded protein response were involved in the galanin-mediated effect. We also studied the regulation of galanin and its receptor subtypes under diabetes in NSCs in vitro and in the subventricular zone (SVZ) in vivo. The viability of mouse SVZ-derived NSCs and the involvement of apoptosis (Bcl-2, cleaved caspase-3) and unfolded protein response [C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) Glucose-regulated protein 78/immunoglobulin heavy-chain binding protein (GRP78/BiP), spliced X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1), c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) phosphorylation] were assessed in the presence of glucolipotoxic conditions after 24 h. The effect of diabetes on the regulation of galanin and its receptor subtypes was assessed on NSCs in vitro and in SVZ tissues isolated from normal and type 2 diabetes ob/ob mice. We show increased NSC viability following galanin receptor (GalR)3 activation. This protective effect correlated with decreased apoptosis and CHOP levels. We also report how galanin and its receptors are regulated by diabetes in vitro and in vivo. This study shows GalR3-mediated neuroprotection, supporting a potential future therapeutic development, based on GalR3 activation, for the treatment of brain disorders.


Adult neurogenesis impairment in diabetes could play a role in the development of neurological complications. GalR3 activation counteracts glucolipotoxicity in adult neural stem cells (NSCs) in the subventricular zone (SVZ) by decreasing apoptosis. At least part of the protective effect mediated by GalR3 activation occurs through modulation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling in the endoplasmic reticulum. The data support a potential therapeutic development for treatment of diabetic brain disorders, based on increased neurogenesis by GalR3 activation. CB, cerebellum; LV, lateral ventricle; OB, olfactory bulb.