Effects of ethanol on plasma ghrelin levels in the rat during early and late adolescence.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Ghrelin is an appetite-regulating peptide that is primarily secreted by endocrine cells in the stomach and is implicated in regulation of alcohol consumption and alcohol-reinforced behaviors. In the present study, adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats received intermittent ethanol (AIE) exposure by intragastric intubation (5 g/kg) or vapor inhalation, manipulations conducted between postnatal days (PD) 28-43. On the first and last day of AIE exposure, the level of intoxication was examined 1 h after ethanol gavage or upon removal from the vapor chamber. This was immediately followed by a blood draw for determination of the blood ethanol concentration (BEC) and plasma levels of acylated ghrelin (acyl-ghrelin; active). On PD29, plasma levels of acyl-ghrelin were significantly elevated in male (but not female) rats in response to acute ethanol exposure by both gastric gavage and vapor inhalation. Importantly, assessment of plasma acyl-ghrelin in response to repeated ethanol exposure revealed a complex interaction of both sex and method of AIE exposure. On PD43, vapor inhalation increased plasma acyl-ghrelin in both males and females compared to their air-control counterparts, whereas there was no change in plasma levels of acyl-ghrelin in either male or female rats in response to exposure by intragastric gavage. Assessment of plasma acyl-ghrelin following a 30-day ethanol-free period revealed AIE exposure did not produce a change in basal levels. In addition, an acute ethanol challenge in adult rats of 5 g/kg via gastric gavage had no effect on plasma ghrelin levels when assessed 1 h after initiation of exposure. Collectively, these observations suggest that acyl-ghrelin, a primary gut-brain signaling hormone, is elevated by ethanol during early adolescence independent of administration route, and in gender-dependent fashion.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Healey, KL; Landin, JD; Dubester, K; Kibble, S; Marquardt, K; Brutman, JN; Davis, JF; Swartzwelder, HS; Chandler, LJ

Published Date

  • June 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 85 /

Start / End Page

  • 111 - 118

PubMed ID

  • 31923560

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7238721

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6823

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.alcohol.2019.12.006


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States