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Is Ghrelin Synthesized in the Central Nervous System?

Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Multidisciplinary Institute of Cell Biology (IMBICE), Universidad de La Plata-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, CONICET, and Comision de Investigaciones de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (CIC), Buenos Aires 1900, Argentina
Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
Centre Psychiatrie & Neurosciences UMR_S894 INSERM Université Paris Descartes, 75014 Paris, France
MECADEV UMR 7179 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle France, 91800 Brunoy, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Suzanne L. Dickson
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 638;
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurobiological Perspectives on Ghrelin)
PDF [288 KB, uploaded 15 March 2017]


Ghrelin is an octanoylated peptide that acts via its specific receptor, the growth hormone secretagogue receptor type 1a (GHSR-1a), and regulates a vast variety of physiological functions. It is well established that ghrelin is predominantly synthesized by a distinct population of endocrine cells located within the gastric oxyntic mucosa. In addition, some studies have reported that ghrelin could also be synthesized in some brain regions, such as the hypothalamus. However, evidences of neuronal production of ghrelin have been inconsistent and, as a consequence, it is still as a matter of debate if ghrelin can be centrally produced. Here, we provide a comprehensive review and discussion of the data supporting, or not, the notion that the mammalian central nervous system can synthetize ghrelin. We conclude that no irrefutable and reproducible evidence exists supporting the notion that ghrelin is synthetized, at physiologically relevant levels, in the central nervous system of adult mammals. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain; neuron; acyl-ghrelin brain; neuron; acyl-ghrelin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Cabral, A.; López Soto, E.J.; Epelbaum, J.; Perelló, M. Is Ghrelin Synthesized in the Central Nervous System? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 638.

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