Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle (JCSM) - Abstract

 Volume 1, Number 1, Page 169 - 176 

Ghrelin for cachexia

Takashi Akamizu, Kenji Kangawa

Ghrelin, a natural ligand for the growth hormone (GH)-secretagogue receptor, is primarily produced in the stomach. Administration of ghrelin stimulates food intake and GH secretion in both animals and humans. Ghrelin is the only circulating hormone known to stimulate appetite in humans. As GH is an anabolic hormone, protein stores are spared at the expense of fat during conditions of caloric restriction. Ghrelin also inhibits the production of anorectic proinflammatory cytokines. Thus, ghrelin exhibits anti-cachectic actions via both GH-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Several studies are evaluating the efficacy of ghrelin in the treatment of cachexia caused by a variety of diseases, including congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, and end-stage renal disease. These studies will hopefully lead to the development of novel clinical applications for ghrelin in the future. These studies have also facilitated a better understanding of the molecular basis of the anti-catabolic effects of ghrelin. This review summarizes the recent advances in this area of research.

Akamizu T, Kangawa K. Ghrelin for cachexia. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle 2010;2:169-176.