Red hot pepper is a plant that belongs to the Solanaceae family and is known as Capsicum annuum. Capsaicin is the active ingredient of cayenne pepper. Ghrelin is a hormone, which consists of polypeptide structure. Ghrelin also contributes to growth hormone secretion, energy balance, food intake and body weight regulator. The aim of this study was the localization and expression of ghrelin in the ovaries of rats treated with capsaicin during the postnatal development. Ninety female Sprague-Dawley rats (21 d) were used. The rats were randomly divided into 3 groups (n=30 each) as pubertal, post pubertal and adult. Each group was subdivided into three groups. The first subgroup (control) was given no injections. The second subgroup (vehicle) received only 0.3 cc solvent and the third subgroup (experiment) received subcutaneous injection of equal volume of capsaicin (1 mg/kg/d) for 42, 56, and 70 days. Ghrelin immunoreactivity was determined in ovarian follicular granulosa cells, interstitial cells and corpus luteal cells. A ghrelin immunopositive reaction located in the cytoplasm of cells in all groups. These results indicate that prolonged administration of low dose capsaicin does not affect ghrelin expression. However, follicular atresia was seen in lower rate in capsaicin treated group in comparison to other groups.
Keywords: Capsaicin; Ghrelin; Immunohistochemistry; Ovary; Rat.