ABSTRACT Ghrelin, a peptide hormone, newly identified in oral mucosal tissue, has emerged re-cently as a principal modulator of the in-flammatory responses to bacterial infection through the regulation of nitric oxide syn-thase system. In this study, using rat sub-lingual salivary gland acinar cells, we report that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of periodon-topathic bacterium, P. gingivalis- induced enhancement in the activity of inducible ni-tric oxide synthase (iNOS) was associated with the suppression in Akt kinase activity and the impairment in constitutive (c) cNOS phosphorylation. Further, we show that the detrimental effect of the LPS on Akt activa-tion, manifested in the kinase protein S-nitrosylation and a decrease in its phos-phorylation at Ser473, was susceptible to suppression by iNOS inhibitor, 1400W. Moreover, we demonstrate that a peptide hormone, ghrelin, countered the LPS-
induced changes in Akt activity and NOS system. This effect of ghrelin was reflected in the decreased in Akt S-nitrosylation and the increase in its phosphorylation at Ser473, as well as cNOS activation through phos-phorylation. Our findings suggest that P. gingivalis-induced up-regulation in iNOS leads to Akt kinase inactivation through S-nitrosylation that impacts cNOS activation through phosphorylation. We also show that the countering effect of ghrelin on P. gingivalis-induced disturbances in Akt ac-tivation are manifested in a decrease in the kinase S-nitrosylation and the increase in its phosphorylation.
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