Developmental effects of ghrelin
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Ghrelin is a pleiotropic hormone that was originally described as promoting feeding and stimulating growth hormone release in adults. A growing body of evidence suggests that ghrelin may also exert developmental and organizational effects during perinatal life. The perinatal actions of ghrelin include the regulation of early developmental events such as blastocyst development and perinatal growth. Moreover, alterations in perinatal ghrelin levels result in structural differences in various peripheral organs, such as the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract. Recent data have also suggested that ghrelin acts on appetite-related brain centers in early life. Together, these observations indicate that exposure to factors that alter how ghrelin impacts development may induce lasting effects on physiological regulation.
Peptides 32 (2011) 2362-2366. PMID 21736909