Metabolic and cardiovascular effects of ghrelin

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Ghrelin is an endogenous ligand for growth hormone receptor, which is synthesized as a prohormone, and then proteolytically converted into 28-amino acid peptide. This peptide stimulates the secretion of growth hormone, regulates food intake, effect on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Ghrelin enhances the bioavailability of nitric oxide and maintains the balance between endothelin-1 and nitric oxide in the vascular wall. It increases cardiac output, and reduces blood pressure and systemic vascular resistance. Antiinflammatory effect of ghrelin is also appreciated. Since ghrelin is a circulating peptide that stimulates appetite and regulate energy balance, and its role in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes it is the subject of intense research. A variety of metabolic functions of ghrelin requires extreme caution in the use of therapeutic approaches aimed at the stimulation or blockade of its action.

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