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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Jan 26;280(3):904-7.

Ghrelin acts in the central nervous system to stimulate gastric acid secretion.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Miyazaki Medical College, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan.


Ghrelin is a novel acylated peptide that functions in the regulation of growth hormone release and energy metabolism. It was isolated from rat stomach as an endogenous ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor. Ghrelin is also localized in the arcuate nucleus of rat hypothalamus. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration increases food intake and body weight. We examined the effect of ghrelin on gastric acid secretion in urethane-anesthetized rats and found that ICV administration of ghrelin increased gastric acid output in a dose-dependent manner. Vagotomy and administration of atropine abolished the gastric acid secretion induced by ghrelin. ICV administration of ghrelin also induced c-fos expression in the neurons of the nucleus of the solitary tract and the dorsomotor nucleus of the vagus, which are key sites in the central nervous system for regulation of gastric acid secretion. Our results suggest that ghrelin participates in the central regulation of gastric acid secretion by activating the vagus system.

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