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      In vivo and in vitro Effects of Ghrelin/Motilin-Related Peptide on Growth Hormone Secretion in the Rat

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          Ghrelin (Ghr), a 28 amino acid gastric peptide with an n-octanoylation on Ser 3, has recently been identified as an endogenous ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue (GHS) receptor. A cDNA was also isolated from a mouse stomach library encoding a protein named prepromotilin-related peptide (ppMTLRP) which shares sequence similarities with prepromotilin. Mouse and rat ppMTLRP sequences (rGhr) are identical and show 89% identity with human ghrelin (hGhr). By analogy with promotilin, cleavage of proMTLRP into an 18 amino acid endogenous processed peptide can be assumed on the basis of a conserved dibasic motif in position 9–10 of its sequence. In the present work, we compared the GH-releasing activity of rGhr28/MTLRP and of hGhr28/MTRLP with that of a shorter form of the peptide, hGhr18. A short peptide devoid of Ser-3 n-octanoylation hGhr18[–] was also tested. Addition of rGhr28, hGhr28 and hGhr18 stimulated GH release to the same extent from superfused pituitaries. The effect was dose dependent in a 10<sup>–8</sup> to 10<sup>–6</sup> M concentration range. In contrast, hGhr 18[–] was inactive. In freely moving animals, both rGhr28 and hGhr28 (10 µg, i.v.) stimulated GH release, whereas the same dose of hGhr18 or of hGhr18[–] was ineffective. After rGhr28, GH plasma levels increased as early as 5 min after injection and returned to basal values within 40–60 min. Expressed as percent stimulation, administration of rGhr28 was equally effective when injected during troughs or peaks of GH. Plasma concentrations of prolactin, adrenocorticotropin and leptin were not modified. Spontaneous GH secretory episodes were no longer observed within 3 h of rGhr28 treatment, but repeated administration of the secretagogue at 3- to 4-hour intervals resulted in a similar GH response. Activation of somatostatin (SRIH) release by ether stress did not blunt the GH response to rGhr28. This suggests that the secretagogue acts in part by inhibiting endogenous SRIH, as further substantiated by the ability of rGhr28 (10<sup>–6</sup> M), to decrease the amplitude of 25 m M K<sup>+</sup>-induced SRIH release from perifused hypothalami. In conclusion, (1) n-octanoylation of Ghrs and the shorter form hGhr18 is essential for the direct pituitary GH-releasing effect of this new family of endogenous GHSs; (2) only the longer forms are active in vivo and (3) inhibition of SRIH release appears involved in the mechanism of Ghr action.

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          Co-Localization of Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor and NPY mRNA in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Rat

          Growth hormone secretagogues (GHS) are small, synthetic compounds which have the potential of releasing growth hormone (GH) from the pituitary. The mechanism of action of GHS has not been fully elucidated. A specific GHS receptor (GHS-R) is expressed in the pituitary gland and in several areas of the brain including the hypothalamus. We have characterized the GHS-R-mRNA-expressing neurons with respect to co-expression of selected neurotransmitters in the hypothalamus. This was done by dual chromogenic and autoradiographic in situ hybridization with riboprobes for GHS-R mRNA and neuropeptide Y (NPY), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), somatostatin (SRIH) or GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) mRNA. In the arcuate nucleus, GHS-R mRNA was expressed in 94 ± 1% of the neurons expressing NPY, 8 ± 2% of those expressing POMC and 30 ± 6% expressing SRIH mRNA. 20–25% of the GHRH- mRNA-expressing neurons contained GHS-R mRNA, whereas the vast majority of the arcuate GHS-R-mRNA-containing cells did not contain GHRH mRNA. The finding of a significant co-expression of GHS-R and NPY mRNA in the arcuate nucleus is in accordance with the previous demonstration by Dickson et al. that c-Fos is induced in NPY neurons following GHS administration. These results indicate that GHS have other effects on neuroendocrine regulation than GH release via GHRH neurons. Stimulation of the arcuate NPY neurons via GHS-R may explain the increased appetite and the cortisol release seen after administration of some GHS compounds.
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            Receptor for motilin identified in the human gastrointestinal system.

            Motilin is a 22-amino acid peptide hormone expressed throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of humans and other species. It affects gastric motility by stimulating interdigestive antrum and duodenal contractions. A heterotrimeric guanosine triphosphate-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptor for motilin was isolated from human stomach, and its amino acid sequence was found to be 52 percent identical to the human receptor for growth hormone secretagogues. The macrolide antibiotic erythromycin also interacted with the cloned motilin receptor, providing a molecular basis for its effects on the human GI tract. The motilin receptor is expressed in enteric neurons of the human duodenum and colon. Development of motilin receptor agonists and antagonists may be useful in the treatment of multiple disorders of GI motility.
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              Studies on the structure-activity of motilin in vivo. Effect of motilin synthetic analogues in conscious dog


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                January 2001
                30 January 2001
                : 73
                : 1
                : 54-61
                aU159 INSERM, Paris, and bInstitut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS/INSERM U184/ULP, Illkirch, France
                54620 Neuroendocrinology 2001;73:54–61
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 1, References: 27, Pages: 8
                Regulation of Prolactin and Growth Hormone


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