Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.350, No.3, 598-603, 2006
Effects of ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin on neurogenesis of the rat fetal spinal cord
Expressions of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) mRNA and its protein were confirmed in rat fetal spinal cord tissues by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. In vitro, over 3 nM ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin induced significant proliferation of primary cultured cells from the fetal spinal cord. The proliferating cells were then double-stained using antibodies against the neuronal precursor marker, nestin, and the cell proliferation marker, 5-bromo-2 '-deoxyuridine (BrdU), and the nestin-positive cells were also found to be co-stained with antibody against GHS-R. Furthermore, binding studies using [I-125]des-acyl ghrelin indicated the presence of a specific binding site for des-acyl ghrelin, and confirmed that the binding was displaced with unlabeled des-acyl ghrelin or ghrelin. These results indicate that ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin induce proliferation of neuronal precursor cells that is both dependent and independent of GHS-R, suggesting that both ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin are involved in neurogenesis of the fetal spinal cord. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.