, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 521-526
Date: 04 Jul 2012

Ghrelin and cachexia in chronic kidney disease

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Ghrelin is a growth hormone (GH) secretagogue and a potent orexigenic factor that stimulates feeding by interacting with hypothalamic feeding–regulatory nuclei. Its multifaceted effects are potentially beneficial as a treatment in human disease states. In both adult and pediatric chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, decreased appetite plays a major role in wasting, which in turn is linked to morbidity and mortality; wasting has also been linked to high levels of leptin and proinflammatory cytokines. The beneficial effects of ghrelin treatment in CKD are potentially mediated by multiple concurrent actions, including the stimulation of appetite-regulating centers, anti-inflammatory effects, and direct kidney effects. Further evaluation of this appetite-regulating hormone in CKD is needed to confirm previous findings and to determine the underlying mechanisms.