Study Title:

Ghrelin Balances Nitric Oxide Function

Study Abstract

Background and purpose:Ghrelin, a gut-brain peptide, is considered a gastroprotective factor in gastric mucosa. We investigated the role of prostaglandins (PG) and the possible interplay between PGs and nitric oxide (NO) in ghrelin gastroprotection against ethanol (EtOH)-induced gastric lesions.Experimental approach:We examined the effects of (1) central ghrelin (4 mug per rat) injection on PGE(2) accumulation in normal or EtOH-lesioned gastric mucosa, (2) pretreatment with indomethacin (10 mg kg(-1), p.o.), a non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, and with a selective COX-1, SC560 (5 mg kg(-1), p.o.) or COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib (3.5 mg kg(-1), p.o.) on ghrelin gastroprotection against 50% EtOH (1 mL per rat)-induced gastric lesions, (3) the NO synthase inhibitor, L-NAME (70 mg kg(-1), s.c), on gastric PGE(2) content in ghrelin-treated rats and (4) central ghrelin on the expression of constitutive and inducible NOS and COX mRNA and on the localization of the immunoreactivity for COX-2 in the gastric mucosa exposed to EtOH.Key results:Ghrelin increased PGE(2) in normal mucosa, whereas, it reversed the EtOH-induced PGE(2) surge. Ghrelin had no effect on mucosal COX-1 expression but reduced the EtOH-induced increase in COX-2 expression and immunoreactivity. Indomethacin and SC560, but not celecoxib, removed ghrelin gastroprotection. L-NAME prevented the PGE(2) surge induced by ghrelin and, like indomethacin, reduced EtOH-induced PGE(2) increase. Ghrelin enhanced eNOS expression and reduced iNOS mRNA.Conclusions and implications:This study shows that COX-1-derived PGs are mainly involved in ghrelin gastroprotection and that the constitutive-derived NO together with PGE(2) are involved in ghrelin gastroprotective activity.

Study Information

Sibilia V, Pagani F, Rindi G, Lattuada N, Rapetti D, De Luca V, Campanini N, Bulgarelli I, Locatelli V, Guidobono F, Netti C.
Central ghrelin gastroprotection involves nitric oxide/prostaglandin cross-talk.
Br J Pharmacol.
2008 April
Department of Pharmacology, Chemotherapy and Medical Toxicology, University of Milano, Milan, Italy.

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