Background and purpose: Ghrelin, a gut-brain peptide, is considered a gastroprotective factor in gastric mucosa. We investigated the role of prostaglandins (PG) and the possible interplay between PGs and nitric oxide (NO) in ghrelin gastroprotection against ethanol (EtOH)-induced gastric lesions. Experimental approach: We examined the effects of (1) central ghrelin (4 mg per rat) injection on PGE 2 accumulation in normal or EtOH-lesioned gastric mucosa, (2) pretreatment with indomethacin (10 mg kg À1 , p.o.), a non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, and with a selective COX-1, SC560 (5 mg kg À1 , p.o.) or COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib (3.5 mg kg À1 , p.o.) on ghrelin gastroprotection against 50% EtOH (1 mL per rat)-induced gastric lesions, (3) the NO synthase inhibitor, L-NAME (70 mg kg À1 , s.c), on gastric PGE 2 content in ghrelin-treated rats and (4) central ghrelin on the expression of constitutive and inducible NOS and COX mRNA and on the localization of the immunoreactivity for COX-2 in the gastric mucosa exposed to EtOH. Key results: Ghrelin increased PGE 2 in normal mucosa, whereas, it reversed the EtOH-induced PGE 2 surge. Ghrelin had no effect on mucosal COX-1 expression but reduced the EtOH-induced increase in COX-2 expression and immunoreactivity. Indomethacin and SC560, but not celecoxib, removed ghrelin gastroprotection. L-NAME prevented the PGE 2 surge induced by ghrelin and, like indomethacin, reduced EtOH-induced PGE 2 increase. Ghrelin enhanced eNOS expression and reduced iNOS mRNA.
Conclusions and implications:This study shows that COX-1-derived PGs are mainly involved in ghrelin gastroprotection and that the constitutive-derived NO together with PGE 2 are involved in ghrelin gastroprotective activity.
We studied the effect of the acute central administration of obestatin on food intake and body weight in short-term starved male rats, and those of 28-day continuous intracerebroventricular (icv) infusion of obestatin in free feeding rats. In 16-h starved rats, obestatin induced a trend toward a reduction of food intake that did not reach statistical significance. In fed rats, the icv infusion of obestatin significantly decreased food consumption in the first day of treatment; but the anorexigenic effect of obestatin vanished thereafter. Interestingly, the body weight of rats infused for 28 days with obestatin was superimposable to that of the respective control at all time intervals. In all, our results indicate that the anorexigenic effect of obestatin is of little account and that the peptide does not modify energy metabolism in the long-term administration.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent form of inherited intellectual disability and the best-described monogenic cause of autism. CGG-repeat expansion in the FMR1 gene leads to FMR1 silencing, loss-of-expression of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), and is a common cause of FXS. Missense mutations in the FMR1 gene were also identified in FXS patients, including the recurrent FMRP-R138Q mutation. To investigate the mechanisms underlying FXS caused by this mutation, we generated a knock-in mouse model (Fmr1R138Q) expressing the FMRP-R138Q protein. We demonstrate that, in the hippocampus of the Fmr1R138Q mice, neurons show an increased spine density associated with synaptic ultrastructural defects and increased AMPA receptor-surface expression. Combining biochemical assays, high-resolution imaging, electrophysiological recordings, and behavioural testing, we also show that the R138Q mutation results in impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation and socio-cognitive deficits in mice. These findings reveal the functional impact of the FMRP-R138Q mutation in a mouse model of FXS.
Activated neutrophils (PMNs), the ROS/RNS released by PMNs and the derived inflammatory processes are involved in the pathogenesis and progression of human inflammatory airway diseases. Similar diseases are also present in horses which suffer from recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH) and inflammatory airway diseases (IAD). Hyaluronic acid (HA) plays numerous roles in modulating inflammatory processes. The aim of this study was to examine whether a preparation of HA (MW 900 000 Da) interferes with ROS/RNS during the course of equine PMN respiratory bursts, and to establish the lowest concentration at which it still has antioxidant activity by means of luminol-amplified chemiluminescence (LACL). Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy was also used to investigate the direct antiradical activity of HA. The hydroxyl radical was significantly scavenged in a concentration-dependent manner at HA concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 0.16 mg/mL. Superoxide anion, Tempol radical and the ABTS(•+) were significantly inhibited at concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 0.62 mg/mL. The LACL of stimulated equine neutrophils showed that HA induced a statistically significant concentration-effect reduction from 5 mg/mL to 1.25 mg/mL. These findings were confirmed also when l-Arg was added to investigate the inhibition of the resulting peroxynitrite anion. Our findings indicate that, in addition to the human use, HA can also be used to antagonize the oxidative stress generated by free radicals in horses peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). In order to achieve therapeutic concentrations, a direct aerosol administration to horses with horse respiratory diseases can be considered, as this route of application is also recommended in human medicine.
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