Secretory dynamics of ghrelin in adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa and healthy adolescents.Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Aug; 289(2):E347-56.AJ
Ghrelin is an orexigenic peptide and a growth hormone (GH) secretagogue. Secretory dynamics of ghrelin have not been characterized in adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN). We hypothesized that, compared with healthy adolescents, girls with AN would have increased ghrelin concentrations measured over 12 h of nocturnal sampling from increased basal and pulsatile secretion, and endogenous ghrelin would independently predict GH and cortisol. We examined ghrelin concentration and secretory dynamics in 22 girls with AN and 18 healthy adolescents 12-18 yr old. Associations between ghrelin, various hormones, and measures of insulin resistance were examined. On Cluster analysis, girls with AN had higher ghrelin concentrations than controls, including total area under the curve (AUC) (P = 0.002), nadir (P = 0.0006), and valley levels (P = 0.002). On deconvolution analysis, secretory burst amplitude (P = 0.03) and burst mass (P = 0.04) were higher in AN, resulting in higher pulsatile (P = 0.05) and total ghrelin secretion (P = 0.03). Fasting ghrelin independently predicted GH burst frequency (r = 0.44, P = 0.005). The nutritional markers body mass index and body fat predicted postglucose and valley ghrelin but not fasting levels. Ghrelin parameters were inversely associated with fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), leptin, and IGF-I. HOMA-IR was the most significant predictor of most ghrelin parameters. Valley ghrelin independently predicted cortisol burst frequency (52% of variability), and ghrelin parameters independently predicted total triiodothyronine and LH levels. Higher ghrelin concentrations in adolescents with AN are a consequence of increased secretory burst mass and amplitude. The most important predictor of ghrelin concentration is insulin resistance, and ghrelin in turn predicts GH and cortisol burst frequency.