Ghrelin: new molecular pathways modulating appetite and adiposity

Ruben Nogueiras, Lynda Williams, Carlos Dieguez

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Ghrelin is a unique endogenous peptidic hormone regulating both hunger and adiposity. Many of the actions of ghrelin are modulated specifically by the central nervous system. A number of molecular events triggered via the activation of the ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1a), leading to increased levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and ultimately responsible for the orexigenic effect of ghrelin have been characterized. Moreover, the discovery of ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT), the enzyme responsible for the octanoylation of ghrelin, provides a mechanism allowing specific targeting of the ghrelin/GHS-R1a system without affecting the role of des-acyl-ghrelin in other pathways involved in the regulation of energy balance. This review aims to summarize novel roles of ghrelin in energy balance, focusing particularly on both the newly identified neuronal pathways mediating the effects of ghrelin and on peripheral mechanisms leading to increased adiposity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages8
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • ghrelin
  • Bsx
  • goat
  • food intake
  • hormone secretagogue receptor
  • sympathetic-nervous-system
  • food-intake
  • energy-balance
  • pseudorabies virus
  • peripheral ghrelin
  • unacylated ghrelin
  • locomotor-activity
  • orexigenic action
  • arcuate nucleus


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