Lowering oxidative stress in ghrelin cells stimulates ghrelin secretion

Bharath K. Mani, Sherri Osborne-Lawrence, Nathan Metzger, Jeffrey M. Zigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Ghrelin is a predominantly stomach-derived peptide hormone with many actions including regulation of food intake, body weight, and blood glucose. Plasma ghrelin levels are robustly regulated by feeding status, with its levels increasing upon caloric restriction and decreasing after food intake. At least some of this regulation might be due to direct responsiveness of ghrelin cells to changes in circulating nutrients, including glucose. Indeed, oral and parental glucose administration to humans and mice lower plasma ghrelin. Also, dissociated mouse gastric mucosal cell preparations, which contain ghrelin cells, decrease ghrelin secretion when cultured in high ambient glucose. Here, we used primary cultures of mouse gastric mucosal cells in combination with an array of pharmacological tools to examine the potential role of changed intracellular oxidative stress in glucose-restricted ghrelin secretion. The antioxidants resveratrol, SRT1720, and curcumin all markedly increased ghrelin secretion. Furthermore, three different selective activators of Nuclear factor erythroid-derived-2-like 2 (Nrf2), a master regulator of the antioxidative cellular response to oxidative stress, increased ghrelin secretion. These antioxidant compounds blocked the inhibitory effects of glucose on ghrelin secretion. Therefore, we conclude that lowering oxidative stress within ghrelin cells stimulates ghrelin secretion and blocks the direct effects of glucose on ghrelin cells to inhibit ghrelin secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E330-E337
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Ghrelin
  • Glucose
  • Oxidative stress
  • Primary culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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