Molecular and cellular endocrinology

Obestatin promotes proliferation and survival of adult hippocampal progenitors and reduces amyloid-β-induced toxicity.

PMID 26586206


The ghrelin gene-derived peptide obestatin promotes survival in different cell types through a yet undefined receptor; however, its potential neuroprotective activities are still unknown. Here, obestatin effects were investigated on proliferation and survival of adult rat hippocampal progenitor cells (AHPs). Obestatin immunoreactivity was found in AHPs; moreover, obestatin binding to AHPs was displaced by the GLP-1R agonist Ex-4 and antagonist Ex-9. Furthermore, obestatin increased cell proliferation and survival in growth factor deprived medium and inhibited apoptosis; these effects were blocked by Ex-9. The underlying mechanisms involved Gαs/cAMP/PKA/CREB signaling, phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt, and the PI3K targets GSK-3β/β-catenin and mTOR. Obestatin also counteracted Aβ1-42-induced detrimental effects through inhibition of GSK-3β activity and Tau hyperphosphorylation, main hallmarks of neuronal death in Alzheimer's disease. These findings indicate a novel protective role for obestatin in AHPs and candidate this peptide as potential therapeutic target for increasing neurogenesis and for approaching neurodegenerative disorders.