Galanin receptor subtype 2 (GalR2) null mutant mice display an anxiogenic-like phenotype specific to the elevated plus-maze

Kathleen R. Bailey, Maria N. Pavlova, Alex D. Rohde, John G. Hohmann, Jacqueline Crawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The neuropeptide galanin has been implicated in anxiety-related behaviors, cognition, analgesia, and feeding in rodents. Neuromodulatory actions of galanin are mediated by three G-protein coupled receptors, GalR1, GalR2, and GalR3. The present study investigates the role of the GalR2 receptor by evaluating behavioral phenotypes of mice with a targeted mutation in the GalR2 gene. A three-tiered behavioral phenotyping approach first examined control measures of general health, body weight, neurological reflexes, sensory abilities and motor function. Mice were then assessed on several tests for cognitive and anxiety-like behaviors. GalR2 null mutants and heterozygotes were not significantly different from wildtype littermates on two cognitive tests previously shown to be sensitive to galanin manipulation: acquisition of the Morris water maze spatial task, and trace cued and contextual fear conditioning, an emotional learning and memory task. Two independent cohorts of GalR2 null mutant mice demonstrated an anxiogenic-like phenotype in the elevated plus-maze. No genotype differences were detected on several other measures of anxiety-like behavior. The discovery of an anxiogenic phenotype specific to the elevated plus-maze, similar to findings in GalR1 null mutants, highlights the potential therapeutic efficacy of targeting GalR1 and GalR2 receptors in treating anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-20
Number of pages13
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiogenic-like
  • Galanin
  • GalR2 null mutant
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Mice
  • Neuropeptide
  • Nociception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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