Ghrelin is a peptide hormone mainly produced in the stomach. Ghrelin is involved in several physiological processes, including: feeding and lipid accumulation; stress response; anxiety; cardiac performance; immunity and inflammation; taste sensation; reward-seeking behaviour; regulation of glucose metabolism and thermogenesis; memory; motivation and learning.
Ghrelin exerts its actions by binding the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) which is found largely in the hypothalamic and mesolimbic brain regions as well as in peripheral organs (adipose tissue, adrenals, stomach).
Ghrelin is produced by the cleavage of the precursor peptide preproghrelin. The attachment of a fatty acid to its serine 3 residue produces a form capable of activating GHSR.
Gherlin is considered a valuable target for the treatment of conditions such as anorexia, cachexia, sarcopenia, cardiopathy, neurodegenerative disorders, renal and pulmonary disease, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammatory disorders and metabolic syndrome.