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Molecular identification of ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1a) and its functional role in the gastrointestinal tract of the guinea-pig

Kitazawa, Takio, Nakamura, Tatsuro, Saeki, Atsuki, Teraoka, Hiroki, Hiraga, Takeo, Kaiya, Hiroyuki
Peptides 2011 v.32 no.9 pp. 1876-1886
agonists, amino acids, cerebellum, cerebral cortex, colon, complementary DNA, dogs, electric field, gastrointestinal motility, ghrelin, ghrelin receptors, guinea pigs, horses, hypothalamus, ileum, medulla oblongata, messenger RNA, olfactory bulb, rats, stomach, thalamus, tissues, tritium
Ghrelin stimulates gastric motility in vivo in the guinea-pig through activation of growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R). In this study, we identified GHS-R1a in the guinea-pig, and examined its distribution and cellular function and compared them with those in the rat. Effects of ghrelin in different regions of gastrointestinal tract were also examined. GHS-R1a was identified in guinea-pig brain cDNA. Amino acid identities of guinea-pig GHS-R1a were 93% to horses and 85% to dogs. Expression levels of GHS-R1a mRNA were high in the pituitary and hypothalamus, moderate in the thalamus, cerebral cortex, pons, medulla oblongata and olfactory bulb, and low in the cerebellum and peripheral tissues including gastrointestinal tract. Comparison of GHS-R1a expression patterns showed that those in the brain were similar but the expression level in the gastrointestinal tract was higher in rats than in guinea-pigs. Guinea-pig GHS-R1a expressed in HEK 293 cells responded to rat ghrelin and GHS-R agonists. Rat ghrelin was ineffective in inducing mechanical changes in the stomach and colon but caused a slight contraction in the small intestine. 1,1-Dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium and electrical field stimulation (EFS) caused cholinergic contraction in the intestine, and these contractions were not affected by ghrelin. Ghrelin did not change spontaneous and EFS-evoked [³H]-efflux from [³H]-choline-loaded ileal strips. In summary, guinea-pig GHS-R1a was identified and its functions in isolated gastrointestinal strips were characterized. The distribution of GHS-R1a in peripheral tissues was different from that in rats, suggesting that the functional role of ghrelin in the guinea-pig is different from that in other animal species.