The role of galanin in the progression and prognosis of colorectal cancer: the unfinished story

Submitted: 14 February 2024
Accepted: 27 February 2024
Published: 6 March 2024
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The paper presents a summary of immunohistochemical (IHC) and biochemical investigations on the presence of galanin (Gal), one of the neuropeptides abundant in the enteric nervous systems, and three types of its receptors (GalR1-3) in colorectal cancer (CRC) tissue and non-involved colon wall and their associations with clinical-pathological data of the CRC patients. We were the first to morphologically demonstrate the presence of endogenous Gal in CRC sections and measure its content in homogenates of tumor tissue and dissected compartments of unchanged colon wall. The prominent atrophy of myenteric plexuses displaying Gal immunoreactivity (Gal-Ir) located close to the tumor invasion was found to be accompanied by higher Gal content in the tumor-adjacent muscularis externa than in tumor-distant tissue. In further studies for the first time, we demonstrated by the IHC technique the presence of the GalR1-3 receptors in the CRC tumors and the colon mucosa and found that higher GalR3-Ir in the tumor tissue correlated with longer overall survival of CRC patients. Furthermore, we discovered that lower GalR1 expression in submucosal plexuses located near the tumor correlated with a better prognosis in patients with CRC. These findings suggest that GalR1 could be considered as a novel therapeutic target in CRC. In conclusion, our morphological investigations provided novel data documenting the involvement of Gal and its receptors in the progression of CRC and showed the usefulness of the IHC technique for the prognosis of CRC patients.

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How to Cite

Kmiec, Z., Kieżun, J., Krazinski, B. E., Kwiatkowski, P., & Godlewski, J. (2024). The role of galanin in the progression and prognosis of colorectal cancer: the unfinished story. European Journal of Histochemistry, 68(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ejh.2024.3990