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Physiol Res. 2008;57(4):563-8. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Role of ghrelin in the regulation of gastric acid secretion involving nitrergic mechanisms in rats.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey.


Ghrelin, an endogenous ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), has been identified in the rat and human gastrointestinal tract. Ghrelin has been proposed to play a role in gastric acid secretion. Nitric oxide (NO) was shown as a mediator in the mechanism of ghrelin action on gastric acid secretory function. However, there is a little knowledge about this topic. We have investigated the role of ghrelin in gastric acid secretion and the role of NO as a mediator. Wistar albino rats were used in this study. The pyloric sphincter was ligated through a small midline incision. By the time, saline (0.5 ml, iv) was injected to the control group, ghrelin (20 microg/kg, iv) was injected to the first experimental group, ghrelin (20 microg/kg, iv) + L-NAME (70 mg/kg, sc) was injected to the second group and L-NAME (70 mg/kg, sc) was administered to the third group. The rats were killed 3 h after pylorus ligation; gastric acid secretion, mucus content and plasma nitrite levels were measured. Exogenous ghrelin administration increased gastric acid output, mucus content and total plasma nitrite levels, while these effects of ghrelin were inhibited by applying L-NAME. We can conclude that ghrelin participates in the regulation of gastric acid secretion through NO as a mediator.

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