Fasting and postprandial hyperghrelinemia in Prader-Willi syndrome is partially explained by hypoinsulinemia, and is not due to peptide YY3-36 deficiency or seen in hypothalamic obesity due to craniopharyngioma.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 May; 90(5):2681-90.JC
The cause of the unique elevation in fasting plasma levels of the orexigenic gastric hormone ghrelin in many patients with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is unclear. We measured fasting and postprandial plasma ghrelin in nonobese (n = 16 fasting and n = 8 postprandial) and obese non-PWS adults (n = 16 and 9), adults with genetically confirmed PWS (n = 26 and 10), and patients with hypothalamic obesity from craniopharyngioma tumors (n = 9 and 6). We show that 1) plasma ghrelin levels decline normally after food consumption in PWS, but there is still fasting and postprandial hyperghrelinemia relative to the patient's obesity (2.0-fold higher fasting ghrelin, 1.8-fold higher postprandial ghrelin, adjusting for percentage of body fat); 2) the fasting and postprandial hyperghrelinemia in PWS appears to be at least partially, but possibly not solely, explained by the concurrent relative hypoinsulinemia and preserved insulin sensitivity for the patient's obesity (residual 1.3- to 1.6-fold higher fasting ghrelin, 1.2- to 1.5-fold higher postprandial ghrelin in PWS, adjusting for insulin levels or homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance); 3) hyperghrelinemia and hypoinsulinemia are not found in craniopharyngioma patients with hypothalamic obesity, and indeed, these patients have relative hyperinsulinemia for their obesity; and 4) there is no deficiency of the anorexigenic intestinal hormone peptide YY(3-36) in PWS contributing to their hyperghrelinemia.