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World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Apr 14;13(14):2094-9.

Effects of intra-gastric beta-casomorphin-7 on somatostatin and gastrin gene expression in rat gastric mucosa.

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Department of Animal Physiology and Biochemistry, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, Jiangshu Province, China.



To investigate the in vivo effect of beta-casomorphin-7 on the regulation of gastric somatostatin and gastrin messenger RNA in rat gastric mucosa.


Somatostatin and gastrin mRNA were quantified by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization (ISH) in 24 rats. The rats were divided into three treatment groups: basal diet + physiological saline (n=8), basal diet + beta-casomorphin-7 (7.5 x 10(-7)mol) (n=8), and basal diet + poly-Gly-7 (containing equal mol of N with 7.5 x 10(-7) mol beta-casomorphin-7) (n=8). After oral administration for 30 days, rats were killed by exsanguinations.


After intra-gastric administration of beta-casomorphin-7 for 30 d, gastrin mRNA increased by 52.8% (P<0.05, n=8), and somatostatin mRNA levels decreased by 30.7% compared with the controls (P<0.01, n=8). No significant differences in the expression of the two genes were observed in the poly-Gly-treated group, although gastrin mRNA expression was elevated by 35.6% as against the control group (P=0.15, n=8). The long-term oral administration of a casomorphin solution significantly decreased the even gray of D-cells, but did not lower the number of D-cells both in the antrum and fundus. Interestingly, the number of G-cells increased in the antrum and fundus, but its average density was augmented only in the antrum.


Beta-casomorphin-7 is capable of modulating gene expression of the regulatory peptides from G and D cells. Data from in situ hybridization studies indicate that beta-casomorphin-7 affects gastrin gene expression indirectly by means of the paracrine action of somatostatin, and depends on its intrinsic molecular function.

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