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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2019 Feb 5;481:8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2018.11.004. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Acyl-ghrelin mediated lipid retention and inflammation in obesity-related Type 2 diabetes.

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Diabetes Research Group, Grove Building, Swansea University, Swansea, UK. Electronic address:
Welsh Institute of Metabolic & Obesity Surgery, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, UK.
Molecular Neurobiology Research Group, Institute of Life Science 1, Swansea University, Swansea, UK.
Diabetes Research Group, Grove Building, Swansea University, Swansea, UK.


Acyl-ghrelin has various peripheral effects including the potential role in mediating cellular lipid removal and macrophage polarization. Previous reports are contradictory as to how glycaemia and acyl-ghrelin mediates lipid retention and inflammation within individuals with Type 2 diabetes (T2D). Our aim was to explore acyl-ghrelin levels and ghrelin expression in relation to lipid and inflammatory markers within an ex vivo human model, biopsied visceral adipose tissue. Results indicated that acyl-ghrelin was associated with a decline in key lipid homeostasis genes ABCG1 and LXRβ expression. Within T2D there was also a down regulation of these genes which was independent of acyl-ghrelin levels. Circulatory pro-inflammatory markers (IL-6 and TNFα) had no association with ghrelin expression nor circulating acyl-ghrelin levels. Anti-inflammatory marker (IL-10) and total antioxidant status (TAOS%) were positively associated with ghrelin expression across samples from all groups combined (total sample cohort) and specifically within the obesity sample cohorts. Data supported the hypothesis that hyperglycaemia and acyl-ghrelin have a regulatory role in lipid retention. Furthermore, that both acyl- and desacyl-ghrelin is responsible for a protective inflammatory response; however this response is diminished in T2D.


Acyl-ghrelin; Inflammation; Lipid retention; Type 2 diabetes


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