Establishment of a mouse model of colitis and its use to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of two ghrelin peptides

Taufiq, Samia (2009) Establishment of a mouse model of colitis and its use to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of two ghrelin peptides. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Ghrelin is a gut-brain peptide hormone that induces appetite, stimulates the release of growth hormone, and has recently been shown to ameliorate inflammation. Recent studies have suggested that ghrelin may play a potential role in inflammation-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). A previous study with ghrelin in the TNBS mouse model of colitis demonstrated that ghrelin treatment decreased the clinical severity of colitis and inflammation and prevented the recurrence of disease. Ghrelin may be acting at the immunological and epithelial level as the ghrelin receptor (GHSR) is expressed by immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells. The current project investigated the effect of ghrelin in a different mouse model of colitis using dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) – a luminal toxin. Two molecular weight forms of DSS were used as they give differing effects (5kDa and 40kDa). Ghrelin treatment significantly improved clinical colitis scores (p=0.012) in the C57BL/6 mouse strain with colitis induced by 2% DSS (5kDa). Treatment with ghrelin suppressed colitis in the proximal colon as indicated by reduced accumulative histopathology scores (p=0.03). Whilst there was a trend toward reduced scores in the mid and distal colon in these mice this did not reach significance. Ghrelin did not affect histopathology scores in the 40kDa model. There was no significant effect on the number of regulatory T cells or TNF-α secretion from cultured lymph node cells from these mice. The discovery of C-terminal ghrelin peptides, for example, obestatin and the peptide derived from exon 4 deleted proghrelin (Δ4 preproghrelin peptide) have raised questions regarding their potential role in biological functions. The current project investigated the effect of Δ4 peptide in the DSS model of colitis however no significant suppression of colitis was observed. In vitro epithelial wound healing assays were also undertaken to determine the effect of ghrelin on intestinal epithelial cell migration. Ghrelin did not significantly improve wound healing in these assays. In conclusion, ghrelin treatment displays a mild anti-inflammatory effect in the 5kDa DSS model. The potential mechanisms behind this effect and the disparity between these results and those published previously will be discussed.

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ID Code: 29261
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Chopin, Lisa & Mcguckin, Michael
Keywords: ghrelin, GHSR, Δ4 peptide, DSS, IBD
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 11 Dec 2009 05:01
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 14:41

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