Growth hormone secretagogue receptors (GHSRs) in the central nervous system (CNS) mediate hyperphagia and adiposity induced by acyl ghrelin (AG). Evidence suggests that des-AG (dAG) has biological activity through GHSR-independent mechanisms. We combined in vitro and in vivo approaches to test possible GHSR-mediated biological activity of dAG. Both AG (100 nmol/L) and dAG (100 nmol/L) significantly increased inositol triphosphate formation in human embryonic kidney-293 cells transfected with human GHSR. As expected, intracerebroventricular infusion of AG in mice increased fat mass (FM), in comparison with the saline-infused controls. Intracerebroventricular dAG also increased FM at the highest dose tested (5 nmol/day). Chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of AG or dAG increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). Subcutaneously infused AG regulated FM and GSIS in comparison with saline-infused control mice, whereas dAG failed to regulate these parameters even with doses that were efficacious when delivered intracerebroventricularly. Furthermore, intracerebroventricular dAG failed to regulate FM and induce hyperinsulinemia in GHSR-deficient (Ghsr−/−) mice. In addition, a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp suggests that intracerebroventricular dAG impairs glucose clearance without affecting endogenous glucose production. Together, these data demonstrate that dAG is an agonist of GHSR and regulates body adiposity and peripheral glucose metabolism through a CNS GHSR-dependent mechanism.
- Received March 13, 2013.
- Accepted September 18, 2013.
- © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.
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