Ghrelin protection against cytotoxic effect of ethanol on rat salivary mucin synthesis involves cytosolic phospholipase A2 activation through s-nitrosylation

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Recent advances in identifying the salivary constituents of significance to the maintenance of soft oral tissue integrity have brought to focus the importance of a 28-amino acid peptide hormone, ghrelin. Here, we report on the role of ghrelin in countering the disturbances in salivary mucin synthesis caused by ethanol cytotoxicity in rat sublingual gland acinar cells. We show that the countering effect of ghrelin on mucin synthesis was associated with the increase in NO and PGE2 production, and the enhancement in cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) activity. The ghrelin-induced up-regulation in mucin synthesis, like that of cPLA2 activity, was subject to suppression by Src inhibitor, PP2, ERK inhibitor, PD98059, as well as Akt inhibitor, SH-5 and ascorbate. Moreover, the loss in countering effect of ghrelin on the ethanol cytotoxicity and mucin synthesis was attained with cNOS inhibitor, L-NAME as well as COX-1 inhibitor, SC-560. Furthermore, while the effect of L-NAME was also reflected in the inhibition of the acinar cell capacity for NO and PGE2 generation, and cPLA2 S-nitrosylation, the COX-1 inhibitor caused the inhibition in PGE2 only. Our findings demonstrate that ghrelin protection of the acinar cells against ethanol cytotoxicity and the impairment in salivary mucin synthesis involves Src kinase activation of the Akt/cNOS pathway that leads to up-regulation in cNOS activity. We also show that cNOS-derived NO induction of the cPLA2 activation through S-nitrosylation, for the increase in PGE2 generation, is an essential element of the protective mechanism of ghrelin action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biomedical Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


  • Ethanol cytotoxicity
  • Ghrelin
  • S-nitrosylation
  • Salivary mucin
  • cNOS
  • cPLA activation


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