Cover Story Current Issue

Obesity represents a complex medical and behavioural problem which is insufficiently managed by current treatment interventions. Over the past decades, it has become increasing clear that the brain plays a fundamental role in regulating energy balance and body weight homeostasis. Central control of eating and energy balance is determined by a rich interplay of humoral, neuronal and molecular mechanisms.

Henrik H. Hansen, Johanna Perens, Urmas Roostalu, Jacob Lercke Skytte, ... Jacob Hecksher-Sørensen

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Current Issue

“A LEAP 2 conclusions? Targeting the ghrelin system to treat obesity and diabetes”

Deepali Gupta, Sean B. Ogden, Kripa Shankar, Salil Varshney, Jeffrey M. Zigman

 

Background

The hormone ghrelin stimulates food intake, promotes adiposity, increases body weight, and elevates blood glucose. Consequently, alterations in plasma ghrelin levels and the functioning of other components of the broader ghrelin system have been proposed as potential contributors to obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, targeting the ghrelin system has been proposed as a novel therapeutic strategy for obesity and diabetes.

Scope of review

The current review focuses on the potential for targeting ghrelin and other proteins comprising the ghrelin system as a treatment for obesity and diabetes. The main components of the ghrelin system are introduced. Data supporting a role for the endogenous ghrelin system in the development of obesity and diabetes along with data that seemingly refute such a role are outlined. An argument for further research into the development of ghrelin system-targeted therapeutic agents is delineated. Also, an evidence-based discussion of potential factors and contexts that might influence the efficacy of this class of therapeutics is provided.

Major conclusions

It would not be a “leap to” conclusions to suggest that agents which target the ghrelin system – including those that lower acyl-ghrelin levels, raise LEAP2 levels, block GHSR activity, and/or raise desacyl-ghrelin signaling – could represent efficacious novel treatments for obesity and diabetes.

“A LEAP 2 conclusions? Targeting the ghrelin system to treat obesity and diabetes”

Deepali Gupta, Sean B. Ogden, Kripa Shankar, Salil Varshney, Jeffrey M. Zigman

 

Background

The hormone ghrelin stimulates food intake, promotes adiposity, increases body weight, and elevates blood glucose. Consequently, alterations in plasma ghrelin levels and the functioning of other components of the broader ghrelin system have been proposed as potential contributors to obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, targeting the ghrelin system has been proposed as a novel therapeutic strategy for obesity and diabetes.

Scope of review

The current review focuses on the potential for targeting ghrelin and other proteins comprising the ghrelin system as a treatment for obesity and diabetes. The main components of the ghrelin system are introduced. Data supporting a role for the endogenous ghrelin system in the development of obesity and diabetes along with data that seemingly refute such a role are outlined. An argument for further research into the development of ghrelin system-targeted therapeutic agents is delineated. Also, an evidence-based discussion of potential factors and contexts that might influence the efficacy of this class of therapeutics is provided.

Major conclusions

It would not be a “leap to” conclusions to suggest that agents which target the ghrelin system – including those that lower acyl-ghrelin levels, raise LEAP2 levels, block GHSR activity, and/or raise desacyl-ghrelin signaling – could represent efficacious novel treatments for obesity and diabetes.

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

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The 8th Helmholtz Diabetes Conference

The 8th Helmholtz Diabetes Conference will take place virtually from May 10th-12th. This year, the conference will focus on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in the development of diabetes.

For more information and to register, click here.