Ghrelin improves left ventricular dysfunction and cardiac cachexia in heart failure

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2003 Apr;3(2):146-51. doi: 10.1016/s1471-4892(03)00013-4.


Ghrelin is a novel growth-hormone-releasing peptide isolated from the stomach that has been identified as an endogenous ligand for the growth-hormone secretagogue receptor. This peptide results in a positive energy balance by stimulating food intake and inducing adiposity through growth-hormone-independent mechanisms. In addition, ghrelin has several cardiovascular effects, as indicated by the presence of its receptor in blood vessels and ventricles of the heart. Infusion of ghrelin decreases systemic vascular resistance and increases cardiac output in patients with heart failure. Furthermore, repeated administration of ghrelin improves cardiac structure and function, and attenuates the development of cardiac cachexia in rats with heart failure. These results suggest that ghrelin has therapeutic potential in the treatment of severe chronic heart failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cachexia / blood
  • Cachexia / drug therapy*
  • Ghrelin
  • Heart Failure / blood
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Peptide Hormones / blood
  • Peptide Hormones / metabolism
  • Peptide Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / blood
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / drug therapy*


  • Ghrelin
  • Peptide Hormones