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      Photoperiod Influences the Central Effects of Ghrelin on Food Intake, GH and LH Secretion in Sheep

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          Ghrelin is a circulating peptide, primarily secreted by the gut, that has reported actions within the hypothalamo-pituitary axis to stimulate food intake, inhibit GnRH/LH secretion and stimulate GH secretion in monogastric species. Here, we examine responses to centrally administered ghrelin in a seasonal ruminant. Estradiol-implanted castrated male sheep with indwelling intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) cannulae were kept with unrestricted food for 16 weeks in long day photoperiod (LD, 16 h light/day) then 16 weeks in short days (SD, 8 h light/day). In week 16 of each photoperiod they were given a control (saline) i.c.v. injection on day 1 and ghrelin i.c.v. injection on day 2. Mean circulating endogenous plasma ghrelin concentrations showed no diurnal pattern and were similar between the photoperiods. Central ghrelin injection increased voluntary food intake 2-fold in the first hour after administration in LD but not in SD, decreased LH pulse frequency and amplitude in SD but not in LD, and stimulated GH release in both photoperiods, although there was a 1.5-fold larger response in LD. Therefore, central injection of ghrelin to sheep acutely stimulated food intake in LD, suppressed reproductive neuroendocrine output in SD, and stimulated GH secretion irrespective of photoperiod, although more pronounced in LD. These data indicate that photoperiod can influence hypothalamic appetite and reproductive neuroendocrine responses to ghrelin in seasonal species.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Intimate bacterial-fungal interaction triggers biosynthesis of archetypal polyketides in Aspergillus nidulans.

          Fungi produce numerous low molecular weight molecules endowed with a multitude of biological activities. However, mining the full-genome sequences of fungi indicates that their potential to produce secondary metabolites is greatly underestimated. Because most of the biosynthesis gene clusters are silent under laboratory conditions, one of the major challenges is to understand the physiological conditions under which these genes are activated. Thus, we cocultivated the important model fungus Aspergillus nidulans with a collection of 58 soil-dwelling actinomycetes. By microarray analyses of both Aspergillus secondary metabolism and full-genome arrays and Northern blot and quantitative RT-PCR analyses, we demonstrate at the molecular level that a distinct fungal-bacterial interaction leads to the specific activation of fungal secondary metabolism genes. Most surprisingly, dialysis experiments and electron microscopy indicated that an intimate physical interaction of the bacterial and fungal mycelia is required to elicit the specific response. Gene knockout experiments provided evidence that one induced gene cluster codes for the long-sought after polyketide synthase (PKS) required for the biosynthesis of the archetypal polyketide orsellinic acid, the typical lichen metabolite lecanoric acid, and the cathepsin K inhibitors F-9775A and F-9775B. A phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that orthologs of this PKS are widespread in nature in all major fungal groups, including mycobionts of lichens. These results provide evidence of specific interaction among microorganisms belonging to different domains and support the hypothesis that not only diffusible signals but intimate physical interactions contribute to the communication among microorganisms and induction of otherwise silent biosynthesis genes.
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            Plasma ghrelin levels and hunger scores in humans initiating meals voluntarily without time- and food-related cues.

            Ghrelin is an orexigenic hormone that is implicated in meal initiation, in part because circulating levels rise before meals. Because previous human studies have examined subjects fed on known schedules, the observed preprandial ghrelin increases could have been a secondary consequence of meal anticipation. A causal role for ghrelin in meal initiation would be better supported if preprandial increases occurred before spontaneously initiated meals not prompted by external cues. We measured plasma ghrelin levels among human subjects initiating meals voluntarily without cues related to time or food. Samples were drawn every 5 min between a scheduled lunch and a freely requested dinner, and hunger scores were obtained using visual analog scales. Insulin, glucose, fatty acids, leptin, and triglycerides were also measured. Ghrelin levels decreased shortly after the first meal in all subjects. A subsequent preprandial increase occurred over a wide range of intermeal intervals (IMI; 320-425 min) in all but one subject. Hunger scores and ghrelin levels showed similar temporal profiles and similar relative differences in magnitude between lunch and dinner. One subject displayed no preprandial ghrelin increase and was also the only individual whose insulin levels did not return to baseline between meals. This finding, along with a correlation between area-under-the-curve values of ghrelin and insulin, suggests a role for insulin in ghrelin regulation. The preprandial increase of ghrelin levels that we observed among humans initiating meals voluntarily, without time- or food-related cues, and the overlap between these levels and hunger scores are consistent with a role for ghrelin in meal initiation.
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              Ghrelin increases food intake in obese as well as lean subjects.

              To investigate whether effects on food intake are seen in obese subjects receiving exogenous administration of ghrelin. Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of intravenous ghrelin at doses 1 pmol/kg/min and 5 pmol/kg/min. In all, 12 healthy lean subjects (mean body mass index (BMI) 20.5+/-0.17 kg/m(2)) and 12 healthy overweight and obese subjects (mean BMI 31.9+/-1.02 kg/m(2)). Food intake, appetite and palatability of food, ghrelin and other obesity-related hormones, growth hormone. Low-dose infusion of ghrelin increased ad libitum energy intake at a buffet meal in the obese group only (mean increase 36.6+/-9.4%, P<0.01.) High-dose ghrelin infusion increased energy intake in both groups (mean increase 20.1+/-10.6% in the lean and 70.1+/-15.5% in the obese, P<0.01 in both cases.) Ghrelin infusion increased palatability of food in the obese group. Ghrelin increases food intake in obese as well as lean subjects. Obese people are sensitive to the appetite-stimulating effects of ghrelin and inhibition of circulating ghrelin may be a useful therapeutic target in the treatment of obesity.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                April 2008
                10 December 2007
                : 87
                : 3
                : 182-192
                aObesity and Metabolic Health Division, Rowett Research Institute, bSchool of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, and cSustainable Livestock Systems Group, Scottish Agricultural College, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, UK
                112480 Neuroendocrinology 2008;87:182–192
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, References: 54, Pages: 11
                Appetite and Energy Balance


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