Ghrelin stimulates gastric emptying but is without effect on acid secretion and gastric endocrine cells

Regul Pept. 2004 Aug 15;120(1-3):23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2004.02.008.


Ghrelin, a recently discovered peptide hormone, is produced by endocrine cells in the stomach, the so-called A-like cells. Ghrelin binds to the growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor and releases GH. It is claimed to be orexigenic and to control gastric acid secretion and gastric motility. In this study, we examined the effects of ghrelin, des-Gln14-ghrelin, des-octanoyl ghrelin, ghrelin-18, -10 and -5 (and motilin) on gastric emptying in mice and on gastric acid secretion in chronic fistula rats and pylorus-ligated rats. We also examined whether ghrelin affected the activity of the predominant gastric endocrine cell populations, G cells, ECL cells and D cells. Ghrelin and des-Gln14-ghrelin stimulated gastric emptying in a dose-dependent manner while des-octanoyl ghrelin and motilin were without effect. The C-terminally truncated ghrelin fragments were effective but much less potent than ghrelin itself. Ghrelin, des-Gln14-ghrelin and des-octanoyl ghrelin neither stimulated nor inhibited gastric acid secretion, and ghrelin, finally, did not affect secretion from either G cells, ECL cells or D cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism*
  • Gastric Emptying / drug effects*
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Ghrelin
  • Growth Hormone / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Motilin / pharmacology
  • Peptide Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stomach / drug effects*


  • Ghrelin
  • Peptide Hormones
  • ghrelin, des-n-octanoyl
  • Motilin
  • Growth Hormone