IJMS, Vol. 22, Pages 10571: Protective and Healing Effects of Ghrelin and Risk of Cancer in the Digestive System
International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms221910571
Ghrelin is an endogenous ligand for the ghrelin receptor, previously known as the growth hormone secretagogue receptor. This hormone is mainly produced by endocrine cells present in the gastric mucosa. The ghrelin-producing cells are also present in other organs of the body, mainly in the digestive system, but in much smaller amount. Ghrelin exhibits a broad spectrum of physiological effects, such as stimulation of growth hormone secretion, gastric secretion, gastrointestinal motility, and food intake, as well as regulation of glucose homeostasis and bone formation, and inhibition of inflammatory processes. This review summarizes the recent findings concerning animal and human data showing protective and therapeutic effects of ghrelin in the gut, and also presents the role of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 in these effects. In addition, the current data on the possible influence of ghrelin on the carcinogenesis, its importance in predicting the risk of developing gastrointestinal malignances, as well as the potential usefulness of ghrelin in the treatment of cancer, have been presented.
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