Ghrelin protects against cell death of hippocampal neurons in pilocarpine-induced seizures in rats.

Research paper by Jingjing J Xu, Shuzhen S Wang, Youting Y Lin, Lili L Cao, Rong R Wang, Zhaofu Z Chi

Indexed on: 12 May '09Published on: 12 May '09Published in: Neuroscience Letters


Ghrelin, a 28-amino-acid peptide, is mainly secreted by the stomach. Evidence has shown ghrelin to have neuroprotective effects. However, whether ghrelin protects hippocampal neurons against cell death in pilocarpine-induced seizures is unknown. We used Nissl staining to show that ghrelin attenuated the neuronal loss caused by pilocarpine-induced seizures in the hippocampus. Ghrelin exerted the protective action through regulating the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and Akt pathway. Moreover, ghrelin treatment reversed the decreased ratio of Bcl-2 to Bax induced by seizures while inhibiting the activated caspase-3. Ghrelin can inhibit hippocampal neuronal damage caused by pilocarpine-induced seizures, which might have therapeutic value in seizures.