The growth hormone secretagogue ghrelin is in the centre of interest since its discovery in 1999. It stimulates growth hormone, corticotropine hormone and prolactin secretion, but also plays an important role in the regulation of appetite, carbohydrate- and lipid metabolism and possibly on gastric acid secretion, gastric motility, heart function and as well as immune functions and cell proliferation. Ghrelin was originally identified from the stomach but it is also present in all tissue among others in: hypothalamus, pituitary, pancreas, lung, immune cells, placenta, ovary, testis, kidney and in different tumours including pituitary adenoma, neuroendocrine tumours, thyroid carcinomas, endocrine tumours of the pancreas and lung. The gene structure and its receptor are similar to motilin, they are both synthesized in the upper gastrointestinal tract and both have prokinetic activity on gut motility. The ghrelin receptor (growth hormone secretagogue receptor) is a member of G protein-coupled seven transmembrane domain receptor. The receptor is localised in the central nervous system, kidney, thyroid, pancreas, myocardium and spleen. Starvation and low body mass index decrease, while food intake, hyperglycaemia, elevated insulin levels and high body mass index increase the endogen ghrelin levels. Although we know much about the ghrelin, number of questions remain unanswered, such as the effects of the locally-produced ghrelin or its role in the cell metabolism.
|Translated title of the contribution||Ghrelin - A hormone with multiple functions|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas