Obesity Impairs the Action of the Neuroendocrine Ghrelin System


Zigman JM, Bouret SG, Andrews ZB

Scientific Notation:

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jan;27(1):54-63. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2015.09.010. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

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Ghrelin is a metabolic hormone that promotes energy conservation by regulating appetite and energy expenditure. Although some studies suggest that antagonizing ghrelin function attenuates body weight gain and glucose intolerance on a high calorie diet, there is little information about the metabolic actions of ghrelin in the obese state. In this review, we discuss the novel concept of obesity-induced central ghrelin resistance in neural circuits regulating behavior, and impaired ghrelin secretion from the stomach. Interestingly, weight loss restores ghrelin secretion and function, and we hypothesize that ghrelin resistance is a mechanism designed to protect a higher body weight set-point established during times of food availability, to maximize energy reserves during a time of food scarcity.