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The role of ghrelin in the regulation of glucose homeostasis. Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig 2016 Apr 01;26(1):3-11



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85006191506 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   71 Citations


Ghrelin is a 28-amino acid (aa) stomach-derived peptide discovered in 1999 as the endogenous ligand for growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R). Ghrelin-producing cells constitute a distinct group of endocrine cells dispersed throughout the gastric mucosa and to a lesser extent in the small intestine and the endocrine pancreas. Ghrelin plasma levels rise during fasting and chronic caloric restriction to stimulate food intake and fat storage and to prevent life-threatening falls in blood glucose. Plasma ghrelin levels decrease after a meal is consumed and in conditions of energy surplus (such as obesity). Ghrelin has emerged as a key player in the regulation of appetite and energy homeostasis. Ghrelin achieves these functions through binding the ghrelin receptor GHS-R in appetite-regulating neurons and in peripheral metabolic organs including the endocrine pancreas. Ghrelin levels are negatively correlated with body mass index (BMI) and insulin resistance. In addition, ghrelin secretion is impaired in obesity and insulin resistance. Several studies highlight an important role for ghrelin in glucose homeostasis. Genetic, immunological, and pharmacological blockade of ghrelin signaling resulted in improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, exogenous ghrelin administration was shown to decrease glucose-induced insulin release and increase glucose level in both humans and rodents. GHS-R was shown to be expressed in pancreatic β-cells and ghrelin suppressed insulin release via a Ca2+-mediated pathway. In this review, we provide a detailed summary of recent advances in the field that focuses on the role of insulin and insulin resistance in the regulation of ghrelin secretion and on the role of ghrelin in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS).

Author List

Alamri BN, Shin K, Chappe V, Anini Y


Kyungsoo Shin PhD Assistant Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Blood Glucose
Signal Transduction