International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 807–815 | Cite as

Uremia-caused changes of ghrelin system in hippocampus may be associated with impaired cognitive function of hippocampus

  • Zhian Lv
  • Jie Gao
  • Li Wang
  • Zhao Chen
  • Haozheng Yuan
  • Xiaoqin Ma
  • Jiamei Lu
  • Jianrui Lv
  • Xili Wu
  • Lei Zhang
  • Linting Wei
  • Rongliang Xue
  • Rongguo FuEmail author
  • Liqun MaEmail author
Nephrology - Original Paper



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.


Chronic 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhian Lv
    • 1
  • Jie Gao
    • 1
  • Li Wang
    • 1
  • Zhao Chen
    • 1
  • Haozheng Yuan
    • 2
  • Xiaoqin Ma
    • 1
  • Jiamei Lu
    • 1
  • Jianrui Lv
    • 2
  • Xili Wu
    • 3
  • Lei Zhang
    • 4
  • Linting Wei
    • 1
  • Rongliang Xue
    • 2
  • Rongguo Fu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liqun Ma
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nephrology, Second Affiliated HospitalXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesia, Second Affiliated HospitalXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Integrated Chinese Traditional and Western Medicine, Second Affiliated HospitalXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Medical Laboratory, Second Affiliated HospitalXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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