Changes in ghrelin and ghrelin receptor expression according to feeding status

Neuroreport. 2003 Jul 18;14(10):1317-20. doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000078703.79393.d2.


Ghrelin, a newly identified gut hormone, has been implicated in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis. This study was undertaken to investigate changes in expression levels of stomach ghrelin as well as of ghrelin receptor in the hypothalamus and pituitary glands according to feeding state. Stomach ghrelin mRNA levels were increased by 48 h fasting but decreased by re-feeding. The ghrelin receptor mRNA levels of 48 h fasted rats were 8 times higher in the hypothalamus and 3 times higher in the anterior pituitary gland than levels in fed rats. In summary, not only stomach ghrelin, but also hypothalamic ghrelin receptor mRNA expression, increased during a fast. Such as enhanced ghrelin receptor expression could contribute to the amplification of ghrelin action in a negative-energy balance state.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern / methods
  • Cell Count
  • Fasting / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Ghrelin
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Male
  • Peptide Hormones / genetics
  • Peptide Hormones / metabolism*
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled*
  • Receptors, Ghrelin
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Time Factors


  • Ghrelin
  • Peptide Hormones
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Ghrelin