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Alcohol. 2020 Jan 7. pii: S0741-8329(19)30042-4. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2019.12.006. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of Ethanol on Plasma Ghrelin levels in the Rat During Early and Late Adolescence.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham N.C. 27701.
2
Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425.
3
Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164.
4
Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425. Electronic address: chandj@musc.edu.

Abstract

Ghrelin is an appetite-regulating peptide that is primarily secreted by endocrine cells in the stomach and is implicated in regulation of alcohol consumption and alcohol-reinforced behaviors. In the present study, adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats received intermittent ethanol (AIE) exposure by intragastric intubation (5 g/kg) or vapor inhalation, manipulations conducted between postnatal days (PD) 28-43. On the first and last day of AIE exposure, the level of intoxication was examined 1 hr after ethanol gavage or upon removal from the vapor chamber. This was immediately followed by a blood draw for determination of the blood ethanol concentration (BEC) and plasma levels of acylated ghrelin (acyl-ghrelin; active). On PD 29, plasma levels of acyl-ghrelin were significantly elevated in male (but not female) rats in response to acute ethanol exposure by both gastric gavage and vapor inhalation. Importantly, assessment of plasma acyl-ghrelin in response to repeated ethanol exposure revealed a complex interaction of both sex and method of AIE exposure. On PD 43, vapor inhalation increased plasma acyl-ghrelin in both males and females compared to their air control counterparts, whereas there was no change in plasma levels of acyl-ghrelin in either male or female rats in response to exposure by intragastric gavage. Assessment of plasma acyl-ghrelin following a 30-day ethanol-free period revealed AIE exposure did not produce a change in basal levels. In addition, an acute ethanol challenge in adult rats of 5g/kg via gastric gavage had no effect on plasma ghrelin levels when assessed one hr after initiation of exposure. Collectively, these observations suggest that acyl-ghrelin, a primary gut-brain signaling hormone, is elevated by ethanol during early adolescence independent of administration route, and in gender-dependent fashion.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Alcohol; Ethanol Vapor; Ghrelin; Intermittent Ethanol; Intragastric Ethanol

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