ABSTRACT: A ghrelin gene has been cloned and sequenced in common carp Cyprinus carpio. Ghrelin cDNA is composed of 461 bp [with a 36-bp 5′-untranslated region (UTR) and a 113-bp 3′-UTR], which translates into a protein of 103 amino acid residues. Carp ghrelin (preproghrelin) contained a predicted signal peptide of 26 amino acid residues, the ghrelin domain (Gly27–Val45) and C-terminal peptide (Gly46–Phe103). Homology analysis of the ghrelin domain of carp with that of other known ghrelin in vertebrates showed good similarity to teleost ghrelin (50–81.8%). Hydropathy analysis based on the deduced amino acid sequence of ghrelin domains in teleosts showed a similar profile. Carp ghrelin clustered with ghrelin of goldfish Carassius auratus and other teleosts, away from mammalian, reptilian, avian, amphibian and chondrichthian ghrelin, by phylogenetic analysis. Genomic organization of carp ghrelin gene was composed of four exons and three introns, which was the same as that of other teleosts and human ghrelin genes. The carp ghrelin gene was expressed in unstimulated tissues such as foregut, hindgut, spleen and brain. In spleen cells, expression of the ghrelin gene increased upon stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or imiquimod. The identification of carp ghrelin gene and the analysis of the modulation of its expression in immune-activated conditions will allow a more complete analysis of the roles of ghrelin in teleosts.