Impaired production of gastric ghrelin in chronic gastritis associated with Helicobacter pylori

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jan;90(1):10-6. doi: 10.1210/jc.2004-1330. Epub 2004 Oct 13.


Ghrelin is primarily secreted from the stomach and has been implicated in the coordination of eating behavior and weight regulation. The effects of Helicobacter pylori infection on plasma ghrelin concentration and gastric ghrelin production still have not been well known. We determined plasma ghrelin concentration in a total of 160 consecutive individuals with normal body mass index including 110 H. pylori-infected and 50 H. pylori-negative subjects. The expression levels of ghrelin mRNA and ghrelin-producing cells in the gastric mucosa were quantified with real-time quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The severity of gastric atrophy was evaluated by serum pepsinogen concentrations. Plasma ghrelin concentration, gastric ghrelin mRNA, and ghrelin-positive cell numbers in gastric mucosa were significantly lower in H. pylori-infected subjects. The decrease in plasma ghrelin concentration in H. pylori-positive subjects was accompanied by an attenuation of ghrelin mRNA expression and a reduction of ghrelin-positive cell numbers in the gastric mucosa. Moreover, lower serum pepsinogen I concentrations and I/II ratio were significantly associated with lower plasma ghrelin concentrations in H. pylori-positive subjects. These findings suggest that impaired gastric ghrelin production in association with atrophic gastritis induced by H. pylori infection accounts for the decrease in plasma ghrelin concentration.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gastritis / metabolism*
  • Ghrelin
  • Helicobacter Infections / metabolism*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pepsinogen A / blood
  • Peptide Hormones / biosynthesis*
  • Peptide Hormones / blood
  • Peptide Hormones / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • Ghrelin
  • Peptide Hormones
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Pepsinogen A