Objective: To investigate the effects of unacylated ghrelin (UAG) and co-administration of acylated ghrelin (AG) and UAG in morbid obesity, a condition characterized by insulin resistance and low GH levels. Design and method: Eight morbidly obese non-diabetic subjects were treated with either UAG 200 μg, UAG 100 μg in combination with AG 100 μg (Comb) or placebo in three episodes of 4 consecutive days in a double-blind randomized crossover design. Study medication was administered as daily single i.v. bolus injections at 0900 h after an overnight fast. At 1000 h, a standardized meal was served. Glucose, insulin, GH, free fatty acids (FFA) and ghrelin were measured up to 4 h after administration. Results: Insulin concentrations significantly decreased after acute administration of Comb only, reaching a minimum at 20 min: 58.2 ± 3.9% of baseline versus 88.7 ± 7.2 and 92.7± 2.6% after administration of placebo and UAG respectively (P<0.01). After 1 h, insulin concentration had returned to baseline. Glucose concentrations did not change after Comb. However, UAG administration alone did not change glucose, insulin, FFA or GH levels. Conclusion: Co-administration of AG and UAG as a single i.v. bolus injection causes a significant decrease in insulin concentration in non-diabetic subjects suffering from morbid obesity. Since glucose concentration did not change in the first hour after Comb administration, our data suggest a strong improvement in insulin sensitivity. These findings warrant studies in which UAG with or without AG is administered for a longer period of time. Administration of a single bolus injection of UAG did not influence glucose and insulin metabolism.

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doi.org/10.1530/EJE-09-0339, hdl.handle.net/1765/17896
European Journal of Endocrinology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kiewiet-Kemper, R., van Aken, M., van der Weerd, K., Uitterlinden, P., Themmen, A., Hofland, L., … van der Lely, A.-J. (2009). Effects of acute administration of acylated and unacylated ghrelin on glucose and insulin concentrations in morbidly obese subjects without overt diabetes. European Journal of Endocrinology, 161(4), 567–573. doi:10.1530/EJE-09-0339