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Critical Care

Volume 18 Supplement 2

Sepsis 2014

Open Access

Ghrelin: an anti-inflammatory theurapeutic agent in septic rats

  • GA Uluçay1,
  • E Özkök2,
  • H Yorulmaz3,
  • İ Aydın4 and
  • Ş Tamer1
Critical Care201418(Suppl 2):P43

Published: 3 December 2014


Average Body MassGrowth Hormone SecretagogueGrowth Hormone Secretagogue ReceptorGhrelin ReceptorLeukocyte Number


Sepsis is a life-threatening systemic inflammatory syndrome (SIRS), which affects many organ systems, that leads to hemodynamic changes in the presence of suspected or proven infection, advancing to organ dysfunction and failure [13]. In recent studies, 377 out of 100,000 cases of sepsis were observed while $14,600,000,000 has been determined as the average annual hospital costs. Although there are many studies, the molecular mechanism is not yet clearly elucidated [2, 3]. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the lipid molecule which the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria used in designing the experimental sepsis model [4]. Ghrelin was discovered in 1999 as a specific ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor and then pleiotropic effects such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and so forth were found. Ghrelin was released in many tissues and organs in which there also was its receptor. The liver is an organ which has ghrelin receptors and was affected by sepsis primary [5, 6].


In our study, male Wistar albino rats of average body mass 200 to 250 g were separated into four groups including: Control (n = 10), LPS (E. coli 055:B5, 5 mg/kg, n = 10), ghrelin (10 nmol/kg i.v., n = 10), LPS + ghrelin LPS (5 mg/kg, ghrelin 10 nmol/kg i.v., n = 10). Rats were decapitated 24 hours after first injection. We aimed in this study to investigate effects of ghrelin in sepsis which is created by LPS with sepsis descriptive parameters such as body temperature and leukocyte count with proinflammatory cytokine TNFα and anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 by ELISA, and hematoxylin and eosin stain for observed morphological changes.


We detected the increase of leukocyte number, hypothermia, proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines such as TNFα and IL-10 as developing inflammatory reactions, resulting in hemodynamic and metabolic changes in rats treated with LPS. Also in groups with ghrelin treatment, ghrelin affects leukocyte numbers, body temperature, proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels and histological changes in controls and the LPS group (Figures 1 to 4). As a result of histologic examination, the curative effect of ghrelin partially on liver tissue damage is observed (Figure 5).
Figure 1

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Figure 2

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Figure 3

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Figure 4

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Figure 5

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We think the results of ghrelin may be affected depending on the dose and duration. Also partial healing effects of ghrelin in our results on this topic at the molecular level will contribute to other studies.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Physiology, University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Institute of Experimental Medicine Research, Department of Neuroscience, University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
University of Halic, Turkey
Department of Histology, University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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© Uluçay et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.