Ghrelin affects gastrectomy-induced decrease in UCP1 and beta(3)-AR mRNA expression in mice.
Charlotta de la Cour
Summary, in English
this study we investigated the effects of gastrectomy (Gx) and of the gastric hormone, ghrelin, on the expression of proteins in brown adipose tissue (BAT) that are thought to be involved in thermogenesis. Heat production in BAT is known to depend upon activation and increased expression of β3-adrenergic receptors (β3-AR) and the consequent up-regulation of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Mice were subjected to Gx or sham operation. One week later they started to receive daily subcutaneous injections of either saline or ghrelin (12 nmol) for two or eight weeks. Neither Gx nor ghrelin affected daily food intake. Gx did not lower body weight gain (except during the first post-operative week) but Gx mice responded to eight weeks of ghrelin treatment with a greater body weight increase (37%, p < 0.05) than saline-injected Gx mice; sham-operated mice did not respond to ghrelin. Gx resulted in a greatly reduced expression of both UCP1 and β3-AR mRNA in BAT (50% reduction or more, p < 0.01) compared to sham-operated mice. Eight weeks of ghrelin treatment raised the UCP1 as well as the β3-AR mRNA expression in the Gx mice, whereas two weeks of ghrelin treatment decreased UCP1 and β3-AR mRNA expression compared to Gx mice receiving saline. In fact, mRNA expression in Gx mice after treatment with ghrelin for eight weeks was similar to that in saline-treated sham-operated mice. Ghrelin did not affect UCP1 and β3-AR mRNA in sham-operated mice neither two nor eight weeks after the operation. The results suggest 1) that signals from the stomach stimulate BAT UCP1 (and possibly thermogenesis) and 2) that ghrelin may contribute to the control of UCP1 expression.