Role of ghrelin in glucose homeostasis and diabetes

Author(s): Katherine A Banks & Kevin G Murphy

Ghrelin is an orexigenic hormone released from the stomach that stimulates the release of growth hormone and has been shown to inhibit the release of insulin. Evidence from rodent models of diabetes and perturbed ghrelin signaling suggest that ghrelin plays a role in regulating glucose homeostasis. Ghrelin may act as a paracrine signaling factor within the pancreas in the control of b‑cell function. Ghrelin levels are reduced in obesity and diabetes, and insulin resistance has been linked to mutations in the ghrelin precursor molecule. Ghrelin appears to exert antioxidant and antiapoptotic effects upon endothelial and nervous tissue, and may help to protect against diabetes-related disease. The role of ghrelin in the development of diabetes and its potential utility as a treatment for some of the effects of diabetes remain unclear and require further study.

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