16 August 2017
Acyl ghrelin-induced intake depends on hypothalamic neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurotransmitters. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of AgRP increases feeding through competitive antagonism at melanocortin receptors. ICV administration of α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH), a natural antagonist of AgRP, may modulate the acyl ghrelin-induced orexigenic effect.
This study aimed to investigate the modulating effect of α-MSH on the central acyl ghrelin-induced food intake, gastrointestinal motility, and colonic secretion in rats.
We examined the effects of α-MSH and acyl ghrelin on food intake, gastric emptying, small intestinal transit, colonic motility, and secretion in conscious rats with a chronic implant of ICV catheters.
ICV injection of O- n-octanoylated ghrelin (0.1 nmol/rat) significantly increased the cumulative food intake up to 8 h ( P<0.01), enhanced non-nutrient semi-liquid gastric emptying ( P<0.001), increased the geometric center and running percentage of small intestinal transit ( P<0.001), accelerated colonic transit time ( P<0.05), and increased fecal pellet output ( P<0.01) and total fecal weight ( P<0.01). Pretreatment with ICV injection of α-MSH (1.0 and 2.0 nmol/rat) attenuated the acyl ghrelin-induced hyperphagic effect, fecal pellet output, and total fecal weight, while higher dose of α-MSH (2.0 nmol/rat) attenuated the increase in the geometric center of small intestinal transit ( P<0.01). However, neither dose of α-MSH altered acyl ghrelin-stimulated gastroprokinetic effect, increase in the running percentage of small intestinal transit, nor accelerated colonic transit time.