Research ArticlePhysiology

Enhanced responsiveness of Ghsr Q343X rats to ghrelin results in enhanced adiposity without increased appetite

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Science Signaling  19 Apr 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 424, pp. ra39
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aae0374

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The fattening effect of ghrelin

Because secretion of the peptide hormone ghrelin by the stomach is thought to enhance food intake, there is interest in targeting ghrelin or its receptor GHSR to suppress appetite. However, genetic ablation of the genes encoding ghrelin, GHSR, or the enzyme that activates ghrelin does not alter food intake in mice. Chebani et al. found that cells with a truncated form of GHSR had larger responses to ghrelin than cells with the full-length GHSR. Rats bearing this mutant form of GHSR were more sensitive to injected ghrelin and gained more body weight as fat without eating more food than their normal counterparts. Thus, ghrelin promotes the expansion of adipose tissue without affecting appetite. Furthermore, these rats with the mutant GHSR could be used to identify anti-obesity treatments.

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