The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

in ISI Thomson Master Journal List

January - March 2012, Volume 8, Issue 1
General Endocrinology

Alipour MR, Almasi S, Keyhanmanesh R, Aliparasti MR, Ansarin K, Feizi H

Effect of Exogenous Ghrelin on Heme Oxygenase and Rock Isoforms Gene Expression in the Lung of Chronic Hypoxic Wistar Rats

Acta Endo (Buc) 2012, 8 (1): 5-15
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2012.5

Introduction. Induction of heme oxygenase (HO) gene expression can protect lungs from Hypoxic Pulmonary\r\nVasoconstriction (HPV). Furthermore, there is evidence that Rho-kinase (ROCK) may be involved in HPV. Studies are going on to detect the real mechanisms involved in the phenomenon. Ghrelin, a 28-amino-acid peptide, has been shown that it may protect lungs from HPV side effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of exogenous ghrelin on HO and ROCK isoforms gene expression during chronic hypoxia (CH).\r\nMaterial and Method.Twenty four adult male Wistar rats were divided randomly in three groups. Hypoxic rats with saline or ghrelin treatment were placed in a normobaric hypoxic chamber (O2 11%), for two weeks. Controls remained in room air. HO and ROCK isoforms gene expression was measured by Real-Time RT-PCR. Lung tissues were histologically processed and stained with hematoxylin-eosin for morphometric analysis.\r\nResults. Morphometric analysis showed that ghrelin reversed the hypoxia induced pulmonary artery wall thickness (P < 0.001). In hypoxic animals, the amount of HO-1 expression increased but there was suppression in HO-2 gene expression (P < 0.05). Both ROCK-1 and ROCK-2 gene expressions were diminished after two-week hypoxia. Ghrelin treatment reduced the overexpression of HO-1 (P < 0.05), but had noeffect on ROCK gene expression.\r\nConclusion. Ghrelin by decreasing the expression of HO-1 and HO-2 in hypoxic animals may be involved in an adaptation\r\nmechanism during CH. However, ghrelin did not change ROCK isoforms gene expression, thus it could not affect HPV in this way. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to justify the protective roles of ghrelin for HPV.

Keywords: ghrelin, chronic hypoxia, heme oxygenase, Rho-kinase, lung

Correspondence: Hadi Feizi PhD, Department of Physiology, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Shahid Chamran Street, Bandar Abbass, Islamic Republic of Iran, Tel: 09111344632, Email: