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Ghrelin contributes to protection of hepatocellular injury induced by ischaemia/reperfusion

Authors

  • Yan Qin,

    1. Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Science, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
    2. Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medicine, Da Li University, Dali, Yunnan, China
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  • Ziru Li,

    1. Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Science, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
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  • Zhigang Wang,

    1. Department of General Surgery, The Affiliated Sixth Hospital of Medical School, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China
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  • Yin Li,

    1. Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Science, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
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  • Jing Zhao,

    1. Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Science, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
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  • Michael Mulholland,

    1. Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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  • Weizhen Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Science, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
    2. Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    • Correspondence

      Weizhen Zhang, Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, No. 38 Xueyuan Rd, Haidian District, Beijing 100101, China

      Tel/Fax: 010 8280 2183

      e-mail: weizhenzhang@bjmu.edu.cn

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Abstract

Background & Aims

Ghrelin, a gut hormone with pleiotropic effects, may act as a protective signal in parenchymal cells. We investigated the protective effects of ghrelin on hepatocytes after ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R).

Methods

Hepatic injury was assessed by measurement of plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), histological analysis, and TUNEL assay. Effects of exogenous ghrelin and ghrelin receptor gene deletion on I/R induced injury of liver were evaluated.

Results

Ischaemia/reperfusion induced a profound injury to hepatocytes. This was accompanied by elevations in plasma ALT and LDH. Pretreatment with ghrelin significantly reduced elevations in plasma ALT and LDH, and attenuated tissue damage induced by hepatic I/R in mice. Hepatic injury induced by I/R was more pronounced in ghrelin receptor gene null mice. Ghrelin administration blocked the up-regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity induced by hepatic I/R.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates that ghrelin contributes to the cytoprotection during hepatic I/R.

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