Date: 08 Jul 2011

Ghrelin Acts as an Antioxidant Agent in the Rat Kidney

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Ghrelin has recently been shown to improve renal function in rat with acute renal failure. In this setting, the protective effects have been suggested to be due to its antioxidant properties. Thus, the aim of this study was to measure the antioxidant abilities of this hormone via enzymatic and lipid peroxidation analyses. Wistar rats were divided into two control and two treatment groups, the treated animals receiving 3 nmol of ghrelin as subcutaneous administrations on each of 10 consecutive days and physiological saline injected to controls. Catalase (CAT) activity was significantly higher in the treated animals when compared to controls, while in contrast, lipid peroxidation measured by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), was significantly reduced in the ghrelin treated animals. Furthermore, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione (GSH) content were both much higher in treated female rats than in controls and although there was a slight increase in glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity in kidneys of ghrelin treated rats, the difference was insignificant. These findings suggest that ghrelin has beneficial antioxidant properties in the rat kidney by increasing antioxidant enzyme activities. These effects were more noticeable in treated female rats, possibly due to higher levels of estrogen.