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Pubmed ID :18996160
Publication Date : //

House musk shrew (Suncus murinus, order: Insectivora) as a new model animal for motilin study.


Although many studies have demonstrated the action of motilin on migrating motor complex by using human subjects and relatively large animals, the precise physiological mechanisms of motilin remain obscure. One reason for the lack of progress in this research field is that large animals are generally not suitable for molecular-level study. To overcome this problem, in this study, we focused on the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus, order: Insectivora, suncus named as laboratory strain) as a small model animal, and we present here the results of motilin gene cloning and its availability for motilin study. The motilin gene has a high homology sequence with that of other mammals, including humans. Suncus motilin is predicted to exist as a 117-residue prepropeptide that undergoes proteolytic cleavage to form a 22-amino-acid mature peptide. The results of RT-PCR showed that motilin mRNA is highly expressed in the upper small intestine, and low levels of expression were found in many tissues. Morphological analysis revealed that suncus motilin-producing cells were present in the upper small intestinal mucosal layer but not in the myenteric plexus. Administration of suncus motilin to prepared muscle strips of rabbit duodenum showed almost the same contractile effect as that of human motilin. Moreover, suncus stomach preparations clearly responded to suncus or human motilin stimulation. To our knowledge, this is the first report that physiological active motilin was determined in small laboratory animals, and the results of this study suggest that suncus is a suitable model animal for studying the motilin-ghrelin family.

Authors : Tsutsui Chihiro , Kajihara Kie , Yanaka Takatsugu , Sakata Ichiro , Itoh Zen , Oda Sen-ichi , Sakai Takafumi ,

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