We have previously suggested that the neuropeptides galanin and galanin message-associated peptide (GMAP) may have an inhibitory role in spinal nociception. The present study examined the effects of intrathecal (i.t.) administration of these two peptides on allodynia-like behaviours in response to mechanical and cold stimulation in rats after photochemically induced ischaemic peripheral nerve injury. I.t. galanin significantly alleviated the mechanical- and cold-allodynia-like behaviours in nerve injured rats, and was not associated with motor impairment or sedation. I.t. GMAP relieved mechanical allodynia much less than galanin. I.t. M-35, a high-affinity galanin receptor antagonist, did not significantly alter the response of the rats to mechanical or cold stimulation. At 1 or 2 weeks postinjury, around 15% of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron profiles showed galanin-like immunoreactivity. These profiles were mostly small sized. Although the number of galanin positive cells was thus increased in the DRG in the present model, the increase was substantially less than after complete sciatic nerve section, as previously shown. The present results showed that spinal administration of galanin inhibited some abnormal pain-like behaviours in rats after partial peripheral nerve injury. These results further support an inhibitory function for galanin in nociception. However, endogenous galanin may not play a significant role in suppressing nociceptive input after partial ischaemic peripheral nerve injury, as the upregulation of galanin is moderate.