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International Journal of Peptides
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 567343, 7 pages
Review Article

Ghrelin in Chronic Kidney Disease

Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail code no. 0634, La Jolla, CA 92093-0634, USA

Received 14 November 2009; Accepted 8 February 2010

Academic Editor: Hubert Vaudry

Copyright © 2010 Wai W. Cheung and Robert H. Mak. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often exhibit symptoms of anorexia and cachexia, which are associated with decreased quality of life and increased mortality. Chronic inflammation may be an important mechanism for the development of anorexia, cachexia, renal osteodystrophy, and increased cardiovascular risk in CKD. Ghrelin is a gastric hormone. The biological effects of ghrelin are mediated through the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR). The salutary effects of ghrelin on food intake and meal appreciation suggest that ghrelin could be an effective treatment for anorexic CKD patients. In addition to its appetite-stimulating effects, ghrelin has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. The known metabolic effects of ghrelin and the potential implications in CKD will be discussed in this review. The strength, shortcomings, and unanswered questions related to ghrelin treatment in CKD will be addressed.