Ghrelin clearance is reduced at the late stage of polymicrobial sepsis
- Rongqian Wu
- Mian Zhou
- Xiaoxuan Cui
- H. Hank Simms
- Ping Wang
Published online on: November 1, 2003
The cardiovascular response to sepsis is characterized by an early, hyperdynamic phase followed by a late, hypodynamic phase. Ghrelin, a newly-identified endogenous ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor (i.e., ghrelin receptor), was recently demonstrated to be a potent vasoactive peptide in addition to its effects on growth hormone release and energy homeostasis. We have shown that ghrelin (via its receptor) may play an important role in regulating cardiovascular responses in the progression of polymicrobial sepsis. However, it remains unknown whether the clearance of this peptide is altered in sepsis. To determine this, male adult rats were injected with 125I-ghrelin through the jugular vein at 5 or 20 h after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP, i.e., sepsis model) or sham operation. The blood sample was collected every 2 min for 30 min for determining half-life (t__AMB__half;). Tissue samples (i.e., kidneys, liver, brain, heart, lungs, spleen, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, skin and muscle) were then harvested. The radioactivities of samples were counted. The results indicate that 125I-ghrelin's t__AMB__half; and its distribution were not significantly altered in early sepsis (5 h after CLP). However, the t__AMB__half; increased significantly in late sepsis (20 h after CLP). Tissue distribution of 125I-ghrelin was far greater in the kidneys than in any other tissues tested in both sham and septic animals. Moreover, the kidneys and liver had significantly less radioactive uptake at 20 h after CLP, but the radioactivity in blood was much higher at the same time point. There were no significant changes in 125I-ghrelin distribution in other organs at the late stage of sepsis. These results indicate that the kidneys are the primary site of ghrelin clearance, which is significantly diminished in late sepsis. In addition, the liver also plays a role in the clearance of ghrelin, which was also reduced in late sepsis. The decreased clearance of ghrelin by the kidneys and liver may be due to renal and hepatic dysfunctions under such conditions.