Appetite and Energy: A Ghrelin Balancing Act

Thu, 05/17/2012 - 10:27

Ghrelin is the only potent orexigenic peptide in circulation. It stimulates food intake and leads to metabolism regulation, positive energy balance, adipogenesis, and body weight gain. However, in studies using ghrelin antibodies, the physiological significance of ghrelin in the regulation of energy homeostasis is controversial, since loss of ghrelin function in rodents does not necessarily lead to anorexia and weight loss (1). Research using ghrelin antibodies shows that ghrelin is a brain-gut circuit peptide with an important role in the physiological regulation of appetite, response to hunger and starvation, metabolic and endocrine functions as energy expenditure, gastric motility and acid secretion, insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis, as well as in the potential connection to the central nervous system (2).

Immunoperoxidase of monoclonal antibody to GHRL Immunoperoxidase of monoclonal antibody to GHRL

Besides its functions in regulating energy homeostasis, ghrelin has pronounced cardioprotective effects and was shown to improve cardiac performance in chronic heart failure (CHF).  Studies using ghrelin antibodies suggest that the multifunctional nature of ghrelin makes it an interesting pharmacological target for various diseases. Additional ghrelin antibody-based studies show that inhibition of ghrelin could be a promising approach in obesity-related disorders, while an enhancement of the ghrelin response is considered beneficial in several pathologic conditions marked by malnutrition, wasting and cachexia, including CHF, cancer, chronic pulmonary disease or chronic infections (3).

  1. PMID: 22249814
  2. PMID: 22041110
  3. PMID: 22074572

Novus Biologicals offers ghrelin reagents for your research needs including:


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