The ghrelin/GOAT system regulates obesity-induced inflammation in male mice

Rebecca E. Harvey, Victor G. Howard, Moyra B. Lemus, Tara Jois, Zane B. Andrews, Mark W. Sleeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Ghrelin plays a key role in appetite, energy homeostasis, and glucose regulation. Recent evidence suggests ghrelin suppresses inflammation in obesity; however, whether this is modulated by the acylated and/or des-acylated peptide is unclear. We used mice deficient in acylated ghrelin [ghrelin octanoyl-acyltransferase (GOAT) knockout (KO) mice], wild-type (WT) littermates, and C57BL/6 mice to examine the endogenous and exogenous effects of acyl and des-acyl ghrelin on inflammatory profiles under nonobese and obese conditions.Wedemonstrate that in the spleen, both ghrelin and GOAT are localized primarily in the red pulp. Importantly, in the thymus, ghrelin was predominantly localized to the medulla, whereas GOAT was found in the cortex, implying differing roles in T cell development. Acute exogenous treatment with acyl/des-acyl ghrelin suppressed macrophage numbers in spleen and thymus in obese mice, whereas only acyl ghrelin increased CD3+ T cells in the thymus in mice fed both chow and a high-fat-diet (HFD). Consistent with this result, macrophages were increased in the spleen ofKO mice on a HFD. Whereas there was no difference in CD3+ T cells in the plasma, spleen, or thymus of WT vs KO mice, KO chow and HFD-fed mice displayed decreased leukocytes. Our results suggest that the acylation status affects the anti-inflammatory properties of ghrelin under chow and HFD conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2179-2189
Number of pages11
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

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