The continuous infusion of acylated ghrelin enhances growth hormone secretion and worsens glucose metabolism in humans

F (Fabio) Broglio, F Prodalm, F Riganti, C Gottero, S Destefanis, R Granata, G Muccioli, T Abribat, Aart Jan Lelij, E Ghigo

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Context: Acylated ghrelin (AG) has been discovered as a natural ligand of the GH secretagogue receptor type 1 a and is now recognized as an important orexigenic factor. Besides stimulation of GH secretion and appetite, it exerts other central and peripheral actions including modulation of insulin secretion, glucose and lipid metabolism. Objective: To define the effects of the continuous iv infusion of AG in humans with particular attention to metabolic parameters. Materials and methods: We studied the effects of 16h (from 21:00 to 13:00 h) infusion of AG (0.5 mu g/kg/h) or saline in 8 young volunteers who were provided with isocaloric balanced meals. GH, cortisol, insulin, glucose, free fatty acid (FFA), and ghrelin levels were assayed every 20 min. Results: AG infusion increased circulating total ghrelin to a steady state that was maintained over 16 h infusion of the peptide. With respect to saline, AG infusion significantly modified GH, cortisol, insulin, and glucose profiles and decreased FIFA area under the curve (p<0.01). AG increased GH pulse frequency and approximate entropy (p<0.05). AG enhanced the glucose response to both dinner (p<0.02) and breakfast (p<0.03). AG infusion blunted the early insulin response to dinner (p<0.03) but enhanced the second-phase insulin response to dinner and breakfast (p<0.05). Conclusions: The continuous exposure to AG in humans enhances somatotroph secretion but also worsens glucose metabolism, although it inhibits lipolysis. These findings in normal young volunteers are consistent with data from studies in animals and suggest that acylated ghrelin is likely to play a negative role in glucose metabolism.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)788-794
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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  • EMC MM-01-39-04

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