Can Deletion of Ghrelin Hormone Receptor Treat Obesity?

Hormones are signaling molecules, which initiate and terminate chemical processes. The signals are sent and received by their respective receptors in targeted cells. In 1999, the Ghrelin hormone was discovered, which was found to play a vital role in regulation of hunger, weight and growth hormone.

In a recent study, researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas found that blocking Ghrelin might be a possible treatment for weight loss. The results of their findings were presented at the American Society of Cell Biology’s 50th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in 2010.

How Ghrelin hormone receptor may treat obesity:

  • The growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) is present on all fat cells, both the white and the brown and is the receptor for the Ghrelin hormone.  White fat cells are connected to weight regulation where brown fat cells are connected to body temperature regulation.
  • Two genetically modified mice, one without the hormone and the other without the receptor of the hormone were created.
  • When these mice were subjected to cold and hunger, only the group of mice lacking the GHS-R receptor for Ghrelin had normal body temperature and was able to survive.
  • The researchers went on to research the role of physical activity and obesity on age of these mice lacking the Ghrelin receptor GHS-R.
  • The study found that these mice ate equal amounts of food and had the same physical activity levels as normal mice irrespective of age.
  • The mice without GHS-R lost weight and had lower levels of lipids (fats) in their blood despite their older age in comparison to those older mice with deleted Ghrelin hormone that gained weight.

The researchers found that deleting the receptor of the Ghrelin hormone (GHS-R) reduced the number of white adipose cells and activated the brown cells. This development caused weight loss and more heat production in the laboratory mice.  Further research is needed to unfold the mystery surrounding the Ghrelin hormone and its receptions in the treatment of obesity.


Ghrelin Hormone Receptor Deletion Can Treat Obesity: http://www.instah.com/obesity/ghrelin-hormone-receptor-deletion-can-treat-obesity/

Anti-ghrelin Spiegelmer NOX-B11 inhibits neurostimulatory and orexigenic effects of peripheral ghrelin in rats: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856241/

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