A transient ghrelin surge occurs just before feeding in a scheduled meal-fed sheep

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Jul 12;295(2):255-60. doi: 10.1016/s0006-291x(02)00654-x.


Ghrelin, a gastric-derived peptide, has recently been identified as an endogenous natural ligand for the growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor. However, secretory characteristics of ghrelin are still obscure in ruminants. To investigate the diurnal rhythm in ghrelin secretion and its relationship to GH secretion, plasma ghrelin and GH concentrations were determined in Suffolk rams fed with a roughage diet once daily (Experiment 1). Abrupt increases (P<0.05) in plasma ghrelin occurred just before a meal-feeding compared with that at 1h before feeding, then rapidly fell with a minimum during the feeding. A pulsatile surge (P<0.01) in plasma GH concentrations, which seemed to follow a single surge in plasma ghrelin, was observed during the feeding. In Experiment 2, plasma ghrelin and GH were determined in sheep subjected to a pseudo-feeding of 2h to determine whether feed ingestion itself influences ghrelin and GH secretions. Compared with those at 1h before feeding, a tendency of increases (P<0.1) in plasma ghrelin and significant increases (P<0.05) in GH occurred just before and during a pseudo-feeding, respectively. Plasma ghrelin temporally declined within 1h after the start of the pseudo-feeding, and increased again and maintained higher levels during the last period of the pseudo-feeding. These results suggest that the transient surge of ghrelin secretion just before a scheduled meal feeding would not be due to the ingestion of feed, and that a pulsatile increase in plasma GH during the actual- or pseudo-feeding could be induced by the transient ghrelin surge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Eating*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Ghrelin
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Peptide Hormones*
  • Peptides / blood*
  • Sheep


  • Ghrelin
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Peptides
  • Growth Hormone