Abstract The enzyme ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) activates the orexigenic peptide ghrelin by transferring an acyl group from fatty acids to the serine-3 residue of the ghrelin molecule. This allows ghrelin to bind to its only known receptor, the growth hormone secretagogue receptor type 1a (GHSR1a). While studies have examined the hypothalamic transcriptional response of GOAT to metabolic challenge in mice, little has been examined in the rat hypothalamus. Furthermore, it has not been possible to identify the role of central GOAT separate from that of the periphery, since previous studies either knocked out GOAT system-wide or administered a GOAT inhibitor intraperitoneally. To determine if central GOAT expression is modulated by changes in energy state, we subjected rats to either forty-eight hours of food deprivation or three weeks of food restriction and found that GOAT mRNA increases significantly in both the hypothalamus and the stomach fundus in response to both metabolic challenges. We also found increases in hypothalamic ghrelin mRNA and stomach GHSR1a mRNA in response to food deprivation, as well as increases in hypothalamic GHSR1a mRNA in response to food restriction. We then conducted a second study where we continuously infused amorpholino antisense oligonucleotide into the lateral ventricles of rats to knock-down GOAT centrally while the animals were exposed to a high fat diet. Our results show that rats receiving the GOAT antisense gained less weight, and decreased their caloric efficiency when eating a high fat diet compared to control animals. These data suggest that central GOAT plays a role in modulating metabolism in rats.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Ghrelin, Ghrelin O-acyltransferase, High-fat diet, Hypothalamus, Metabolic challengea, Vivo-morpholino
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.peptides.2015.05.007
Journal Peptides
Wellman, M. (Martin), & Abizaid, A. (2015). Knockdown of central ghrelin O-acyltransferase by vivo-morpholino reduces body mass of rats fed a high-fat diet. Peptides, 70, 17–22. doi:10.1016/j.peptides.2015.05.007