Ghrelin, an acylated peptide produced predominantly by the stomach, has been discovered to be a natural ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHS-R1a). It is localized in distinct cells of the gastric mucosa, mainly distributed in the mid portion of the oxyntic gland characterized by P/D1 granules in man and X/A-like granules in rodents. The ghrelin cell represents the second most frequent endocrine cell type after the enterochromaffin-like cells in gastric oxyntic mucosa, pointing to a potentially relevant role in the physiology of the stomach. Ghrelin has no relevant homology with any known gastrointestinal peptide and displays strong GH-releasing activity both in animals and in humans. However, in addition to stimulating GH secretion, ghrelin possesses several other endocrine and extraendocrine biological activities that are explained by the widespread distribution of ghrelin and GHS-R1a expression. In the rat, ghrelin exerts a control in gastric acid secretion and motility: the gastric acid secretion is stimulated by peripheral administration of high doses of ghrelin, but inhibited by very low doses of ghrelin delivered into the central nervous system. Moreover, ghrelin provides a potent and dose-related gastroprotective action against ethanol- and stress-induced gastric ulcers. The integrity of both nitric oxide (NO) system and capsaicin afferent nerves are required for the gastroprotective effect of ghrelin, whereas the vagus nerve might be involved in conveying ghrelinergic signal from periphery to the brain. In addition, prostaglandins derived by the constitutive cyclooxygenase (COX) activity are essential for the protective activity of ghrelin in ethanol and stress-induced gastric lesions. Given its prevailing role in physiological and pathophysiological gastric function, the discovery of ghrelin will open new perspectives and potential clinical implications in the gastroenteric field.
|Titolo:||Ghrelin in gastroenteric pathophysiology|
|Autori interni:||SIBILIA, VALERIA (Penultimo)|
NETTI, CARMELA (Ultimo)
|Parole Chiave:||ghrelin, gastric functions|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||ott-2005|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|