Table of Contents
International Journal of Peptides
Volume 2010, Article ID 820794, 6 pages
Review Article

The Roles of Motilin and Ghrelin in Gastrointestinal Motility

Department of General Surgical Science, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-22 Showa-machi, Maebashi 371-8511, Japan

Received 24 September 2009; Accepted 12 November 2009

Academic Editor: Akio Inui

Copyright © 2010 Tetsuro Ohno et al. 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.


In structure, ghrelin resembles motilin. The two peptides are considered to be members of the motilin-ghrelin peptide family. Motilin is considered to be an endocrine regulator of the interdigestive migrating contractions, the fasted motor pattern in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It has been reported that ghrelin stimulates GI motility. The gastrokinetic capacity of ghrelin has been well documented in the rodent. However, there have been few positive reports of the gastrokinetic capacity of ghrelin in dogs. Some reports with human subjects have shown that an i.v. ghrelin injection accelerated gastric emptying of a meal and improved meal-related symptoms. These results suggest that ghrelin has potential as a prokinetic. However, it seems unlikely that plasma ghrelin would play a physiological role in these digestive physiological events and stimulate gastric emptying, as these outcomes would appear to be in contradiction with the suppression of the endogenous release of ghrelin after eating. The physiological roles of ghrelin need to be clarified.