Ghrelin is a novel gastrointestinal peptide that stimulates growth hormone secretion, food intake, and body weight gain. Increased ghrelin secretion has been reported in such negative energy states as starvation and low body weight. We investigated the dynamics of ghrelin in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes, because they present reduced body weight and hyperphagia. The plasma ghrelin levels and gastric preproghrelin mRNA expression levels of the diabetic rats increased significantly and their gastric ghrelin levels decreased significantly. Negative energy balance may enhance preproghrelin mRNA expression and ghrelin secretion into the bloodstream.
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