Uremia-caused changes of ghrelin system in hippocampus may be associated with impaired cognitive function of hippocampus
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Hippocampus plays an important role in spatial learning and memory. Ghrelin, a brain-gut peptide, participates in the mnestic functions of hippocampus through its receptor growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) distributed in hippocampus. This study was to investigate whether there was a correlation between the changes of ghrelin system in hippocampus and the spatial cognitive impairment caused by chronic renal failure (CRF).
Sprague–Dawley rats (male, 180 ± 10 g, 7–8 weeks old) were randomly classified into CRF group and control group (n = 18 per group). The CRF model was constructed by 5/6 nephrectomy and the controls treated with sham operation. By the 8th week after the surgery, the spatial cognitive function of rats was assessed by Morris water-maze test (MWM), the protein expression of ghrelin and GHS-R in the hippocampus by immunohistochemistry, and the mRNA expression by real-time PCR. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA, Student–Newman–Keuls-q test and Pearson correlation analysis, and P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Compared with the controls, the time spent in “platform” quadrant (TSPQ) of rats with CRF was decreased, but the escape latency (EL) was increased significantly in MWM, and meanwhile the protein and mRNA expression of ghrelin and GHS-R in hippocampus was also increased significantly (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). Correlation analysis suggested that the TSPQ was negatively but the EL was positively correlated with the mRNA expression of ghrelin and GHS-R (P < 0.01).
The CRF-caused changes of ghrelin system in hippocampus might be correlated with the CRF-caused cognitive function impairment.
KeywordsChronic renal failure Ghrelin Hippocampus Spatial cognitive function impairment
This study was supported by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81470968, 81400740, 81300581).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
No conflict of interest was declared.
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