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Ku J.M.,Vascular Biology and Immunopharmacology Group | Andrews Z.B.,RMIT University | Barsby T.,Level Inc | Reichenbach A.,RMIT University | And 8 more authors.

The ghrelin-related peptides, acylated ghrelin, des-Acylated ghrelin, and obestatin, are novel gastrointestinal hormones. We firstly investigated whether the ghrelin gene, ghrelin O-Acyltransferase, and the ghrelin receptor (GH secretagogue receptor 1a [GHSR1a]) are expressed in mouse cerebral arteries. Secondly, we assessed the cerebrovascular actions of ghrelin-related peptides by examining their effects on vasodilator nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide production. Using RT-PCR, we found the ghrelin gene and ghrelin O-Acyltransferase to be expressed at negligible levels in cerebral arteries from male wild-type mice. mRNA expression of GHSR1a was also found to be low in cerebral arteries, and GHSR protein was undetectable in GHSR-enhanced green fluorescent protein mice.Wenext found that exogenous acylated ghrelinhadnoeffectonthe tone of perfused cerebral arteries or superoxide production. By contrast, exogenous des-Acylated ghrelin or obestatin elicited powerful vasodilator responses (EC50<10 pmol/L) that were abolished by the NO synthase inhibitor Nω-nitro-L-Arginine methyl ester. Furthermore, exogenous des-Acylated ghrelin suppressed superoxide production in cerebral arteries. Consistent with our GHSR expression data, vasodilator effects of des-Acylated ghrelin or obestatin were sustained in the presence of YIL-781 (GHSR1a antagonist) and in arteries from Ghsr-deficient mice. Using ghrelin-deficient (Ghrl-/-) mice, we also found that endogenous production of ghrelin-related peptides regulates NO bioactivity and superoxide levels in the cerebral circulation. Specifically, we show that NO bioactivitywas markedly reduced in Ghrl-/- vs wild-type mice, and superoxide levels were elevated. These findings reveal protective actions of exogenous and endogenous ghrelin-related peptides in the cerebral circulation and show the existence of a novel ghrelin receptor(s) in the cerebral endothelium. © 2015 by the Endocrine Society Received April 18, 2014. Source

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