Gut peptides and the microbiome: focus on ghrelin

Natasha K Leeuwendaal, John F Cryan, Harriƫt Schellekens
Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity 2021 January 19

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In this review, we present recent insights into the role of the gut microbiota on gastrointestinal (GI) peptide secretion and signalling, with a focus on the orexigenic hormone, ghrelin.

RECENT FINDINGS: Evidence is accumulating suggesting that secretion of GI peptides is modulated by commensal bacteria present in our GI tract. Recent data shows that the gut microbiome impacts on ghrelinergic signalling through its metabolites, at the level of the ghrelin receptor (growth hormone secretagogue receptor) and highlights concomitant changes in circulating ghrelin levels with specific gut microbiota changes. However, the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota interacts with gut peptide secretion and signalling, including ghrelin, are still largely unknown.

SUMMARY: The gut microbiota may directly or indirectly influence secretion of the orexigenic hormone, ghrelin, similar to the modulation of satiety inducing GI hormones. Although data demonstrating a role of the microbiota on ghrelinergic signalling is starting to emerge, future mechanistic studies are needed to understand the full impact of the microbiota-ghrelin axis on metabolism and central-regulated homeostatic and non-homeostatic controls of food intake.

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