Background: Ghrelin is an endogenous hormone expressed predominantly in the stomach. Ghrelin controls growth hormone secretion and also affects the body's energy balance. We analyzed the association of ghrelin variants with body mass index (BMI), albumin as a marker of malnutrition and plasma lipids as risk factors for atherosclerosis in hemodialyzed patients, in whom malnutrition and accelerated atherosclerosis are common complications.
Methods: Ghrelin variants Arg51>Gln and Leu72> Met were analyzed by PCR-RFLP in 210 hemodialyzed patients, prospectively followed up for 15 months. Changes in body mass index, triglycerides, total cholesterol and albumin over time (after 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 months of dialysis) were analyzed in subgroups divided according to ghrelin genotypes.
Results: Carriers of at least one of the Gln51 and Met72 alleles lost body weight more quickly than Arg51Arg/Leu72Leu homozygotes (p<0.01). Carriers of the Gln51 allele were at higher risk of developing high cholesterol levels (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Common ghrelin variants may have an effect on changes in biochemical and anthropometric parameters in hemodialyzed patients over time and could be used in the future to plan individualized therapy.
Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:1121–3.
©2007 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York