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From Belly to Brain: Targeting the Ghrelin Receptor in Appetite and Food Intake Regulation

Involvement of Astrocytes in Mediating the Central Effects of Ghrelin

Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús, Instituto de Investigación la Princesa, CIBER de Obesidad Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28009 Madrid, Spain
Department of Pediatrics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Suzanne L. Dickson
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 536;
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurobiological Perspectives on Ghrelin)
Although astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the mammalian brain, much remains to be learned about their molecular and functional features. Astrocytes express receptors for numerous hormones and metabolic factors, including the appetite-promoting hormone ghrelin. The metabolic effects of ghrelin are largely opposite to those of leptin, as it stimulates food intake and decreases energy expenditure. Ghrelin is also involved in glucose-sensing and glucose homeostasis. The widespread expression of the ghrelin receptor in the central nervous system suggests that this hormone is not only involved in metabolism, but also in other essential functions in the brain. In fact, ghrelin has been shown to promote cell survival and neuroprotection, with some studies exploring the use of ghrelin as a therapeutic agent against metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we highlight the possible role of glial cells as mediators of ghrelin’s actions within the brain. View Full-Text
Keywords: glia; neuroprotection; inflammation; metabolism glia; neuroprotection; inflammation; metabolism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Frago, L.M.; Chowen, J.A. Involvement of Astrocytes in Mediating the Central Effects of Ghrelin. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 536.

AMA Style

Frago LM, Chowen JA. Involvement of Astrocytes in Mediating the Central Effects of Ghrelin. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017; 18(3):536.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Frago, Laura M., and Julie A. Chowen 2017. "Involvement of Astrocytes in Mediating the Central Effects of Ghrelin" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18, no. 3: 536.

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