Galanin participates in the functional regulation of the diabetic heart

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Abstract

The diabetic heart is characterized by its impaired ability to utilize glucose. Therapeutic interventions focusing on reducing insulin resistance and enhancing glucose uptake may improve prevention and treatment of the diabetic heart. Recent studies provided some compelling clues that neuropeptide galanin is closely associated with insulin sensitivity in the heart. Galanin may directly affect glucose homeostasis and carbohydrate metabolism in cardiac and skeletal muscles as well as increase glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) expression and translocation in insulin-sensitive cells to reduce insulin resistance. These findings suggest that endogenous galanin has a beneficial effect on the diabetic heart. This paper highlights the effect of galanin on regulating heart rate, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis to protect the diabetic heart. Our findings, therefore, deepen our understanding of the pathology of the diabetic heart and help evaluate the therapeutic potential of galanin-receptor ligands for cardiomyopathy.

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