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Plasma ghrelin levels after diet-induced weight loss or gastric bypass surgery.

The New England journal of medicine

physiology, Adult, Weight Loss, Postoperative Period, blood, Peptides, Peptide Hormones, therapy, Obesity, Middle Aged, Male, Leptin, Insulin Resistance, Insulin, Humans, Ghrelin, Gastric Bypass, Female, Diet, Reducing, Circadian Rhythm, Body Composition, Appetite Regulation

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      Abstract

      Weight loss causes changes in appetite and energy expenditure that promote weight regain. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases food intake in rodents and humans. If circulating ghrelin participates in the adaptive response to weight loss, its levels should rise with dieting. Because ghrelin is produced primarily by the stomach, weight loss after gastric bypass surgery may be accompanied by impaired ghrelin secretion. We determined the 24-hour plasma ghrelin profiles, body composition, insulin levels, leptin levels, and insulin sensitivity in 13 obese subjects before and after a six-month dietary program for weight loss. The 24-hour ghrelin profiles were also determined in 5 subjects who had lost weight after gastric bypass and 10 normal-weight controls; 5 of the 13 obese subjects who participated in the dietary program were matched to the subjects in the gastric-bypass group and served as obese controls. Plasma ghrelin levels rose sharply shortly before and fell shortly after every meal. A diet-induced weight loss of 17 percent of initial body weight was associated with a 24 percent increase in the area under the curve for the 24-hour ghrelin profile (P=0.006). In contrast, despite a 36 percent weight loss after gastric bypass, the area under the curve for the ghrelin profile in the gastric-bypass group was 77 percent lower than in normal-weight controls (P<0.001) and 72 percent lower than in matched obese controls (P=0.01). The normal, meal-related fluctuations and diurnal rhythm of the ghrelin level were absent after gastric bypass. The increase in the plasma ghrelin level with diet-induced weight loss is consistent with the hypothesis that ghrelin has a role in the long-term regulation of body weight. Gastric bypass is associated with markedly suppressed ghrelin levels, possibly contributing to the weight-reducing effect of the procedure.

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      Most cited references 31

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      Ghrelin is a growth-hormone-releasing acylated peptide from stomach.

      Small synthetic molecules called growth-hormone secretagogues (GHSs) stimulate the release of growth hormone (GH) from the pituitary. They act through GHS-R, a G-protein-coupled receptor for which the ligand is unknown. Recent cloning of GHS-R strongly suggests that an endogenous ligand for the receptor does exist and that there is a mechanism for regulating GH release that is distinct from its regulation by hypothalamic growth-hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH). We now report the purification and identification in rat stomach of an endogenous ligand specific for GHS-R. The purified ligand is a peptide of 28 amino acids, in which the serine 3 residue is n-octanoylated. The acylated peptide specifically releases GH both in vivo and in vitro, and O-n-octanoylation at serine 3 is essential for the activity. We designate the GH-releasing peptide 'ghrelin' (ghre is the Proto-Indo-European root of the word 'grow'). Human ghrelin is homologous to rat ghrelin apart from two amino acids. The occurrence of ghrelin in both rat and human indicates that GH release from the pituitary may be regulated not only by hypothalamic GHRH, but also by ghrelin.
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        Obesity as a medical problem.

         P Kopelman (2000)
        Obesity is now so common within the world's population that it is beginning to replace undernutrition and infectious diseases as the most significant contributor to ill health. In particular, obesity is associated with diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and sleep-breathing disorders. Obesity is defined by a body-mass index (weight divided by square of the height) of 30 kg m(-2) or greater, but this does not take into account the morbidity and mortality associated with more modest degrees of overweight, nor the detrimental effect of intra-abdominal fat. The global epidemic of obesity results from a combination of genetic susceptibility, increased availability of high-energy foods and decreased requirement for physical activity in modern society. Obesity should no longer be regarded simply as a cosmetic problem affecting certain individuals, but an epidemic that threatens global well being.
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          Central nervous system control of food intake.

          New information regarding neuronal circuits that control food intake and their hormonal regulation has extended our understanding of energy homeostasis, the process whereby energy intake is matched to energy expenditure over time. The profound obesity that results in rodents (and in the rare human case as well) from mutation of key signalling molecules involved in this regulatory system highlights its importance to human health. Although each new signalling pathway discovered in the hypothalamus is a potential target for drug development in the treatment of obesity, the growing number of such signalling molecules indicates that food intake is controlled by a highly complex process. To better understand how energy homeostasis can be achieved, we describe a model that delineates the roles of individual hormonal and neuropeptide signalling pathways in the control of food intake and the means by which obesity can arise from inherited or acquired defects in their function.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.1056/NEJMoa012908
            12023994

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