To understand the function of the feeding-stimulatory peptide, galanin (GAL), in eating and body weight regulation, the present experiments tested the effects of both acute and chronic injections of this peptide into the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of rats. With food absent during the test, acute injection of GAL (300 pmol/0.3 μl) significantly increased phosphofructokinase activity in muscle, suggesting enhanced capacity to metabolize carbohydrate, and reduced circulating glucose levels. It also decreased β-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase activity in muscle, indicating reduced fat oxidation, while increasing circulating non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and lipoprotein lipase activity in adipose tissue (aLPL). Chronic PVN injections of GAL (300 pmol/0.3 μl/injection) versus saline over 7-10 days significantly stimulated daily caloric intake and increased the weight of four dissected fat depots by 30-40%. These effects, accompanied by elevated levels of leptin, triglycerides, NEFA and aLPL activity, were evident only in rats on a diet with at least 35% fat. Thus, by favoring carbohydrate over fat metabolism in muscle and reversing hyperglycemia, PVN GAL may have a function in counteracting the metabolic disturbances induced by a high-fat diet. As a consequence of these actions, GAL can promote the partitioning of lipids away from oxidation in muscle towards storage in adipose tissue. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.