Delayed gastrointestinal transit is common in patients with severe burn. Ghrelin is a potent prokinetic peptide. We aimed at testing the effect of ghrelin on burn-induced delayed gastrointestinal transit in rats. Gastric emptying (GE), intestinal transit (IT), and colonic transit (CT) studies were performed in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were randomized into two main groups as follows: sham injury and ghrelin-treated burn injury with doses of 0, 2, 5, and 10 nmol/rat ip 6 h after burn. Sham/burn injury was induced under anesthesia. Rats received a phenol red meal 20 min following ghrelin injection. Based on the most effective ghrelin dose, 1 mg/kg sc atropine was given 30 min before the ghrelin in one group of rats for each study. The rats in each group were killed 30-90 min later; their stomachs, intestines, and colons were harvested immediately, and the amount of phenol red recovered was measured. Percentage of gastric emptying (GE%) and geometric center for IT and CT were calculated. We found 1) severe cutaneous burn injury significantly delayed GE, IT, and CT compared with sham injury (P <0.05); 2) ghrelin normalized both GE and IT, but not the CT; 3) the most effective dose of ghrelin was 2 nmol/rat; and 4) atropine blocked the prokinetic effects of ghrelin on GE% and IT. In conclusion, ghrelin normalizes burn-induced delayed GE and IT but has no effect on CT in rats. The prokinetic effects of ghrelin are exerted via the cholinergic pathway. Ghrelin may have a therapeutic potential for burn patients with delayed upper gastrointestinal transit.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2007|
- Colon transit
- Gastric emptying
- Intestinal transit
ASJC Scopus subject areas