Patients with multiple sclerosis have higher levels of serum ghrelin.

: In addition to metabolic and neuroendocrine actions, the recently discovered hormone ghrelin has been found to have inhibitory effects on inflammatory processes. This novel finding suggests possible involvement of the peptide in the pathogenesis of inflammatory disorders including the inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of the present study was to evaluate serum ghrelin levels in patients with MS. Serum ghrelin levels were measured in 40 MS patients and 20 controls. Control subjects were selected from healthy individuals, matched for age, sex and BMI. Fasting plasma levels of ghrelin were determined by radioimmunoassay. Serum ghrelin level was significantly higher in MS group (226.16 +/- 35.84 pg/ml, n=40) than that in the control group (113.04 +/- 11.28 pg/ml, n=20, P<0.001). Both, relapsing remitting and secondary progressive MS patients had ghrelin levels significantly higher than controls, while there was no significant difference between the ghrelin levels of patients with these two categories of MS. This study for the first time shows that patients with MS have higher levels of ghrelin and this increase in circulating ghrelin level may function against the proinflammatory process in these patients.

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