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Peptides. 2011 Nov;32(11):2290-4. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2011.07.021. Epub 2011 Jul 30.

Ghrelin and appetite control in humans--potential application in the treatment of obesity.

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Department of Investigative Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, 6th Floor Commonwealth Building, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.


Ghrelin is a peptide hormone secreted into circulation from the stomach. It has been postulated to act as a signal of hunger. Ghrelin administration acutely increases energy intake in lean and obese humans and chronically induces weight gain and adiposity in rodents. Circulating ghrelin levels are elevated by fasting and suppressed following a meal. Inhibiting ghrelin signaling therefore appears an attractive target for anti-obesity therapies. A number of different approaches to inhibiting the ghrelin system to treat obesity have been explored. Despite this, over a decade after its discovery, no ghrelin based anti-obesity therapies are close to reaching the market. This article discusses the role of ghrelin in appetite control in humans, examines different approaches to inhibiting the ghrelin system and assesses their potential as anti-obesity therapies.

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