Ghrelin is a unique fatty acid-modified peptide hormone produced in the stomach and has important roles in energy homeostasis and gastrointestinal motility. However, the medium-chain fatty acid source for ghrelin acyl-modification is not known. We found that a fat-free diet and the removal of intestinal microbiota did not decrease acyl-ghrelin production in the stomach or plasma acyl-ghrelin levels in mice. RT-PCR analysis showed that genes involving fatty acid synthesis, metabolism, and transport were expressed in pancreas-derived ghrelinoma (PG-1) cells. Treatment with an irreversible inhibitor of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1) strongly decreased acylated ghrelin levels but did not affect ghrelin or ghrelin o-acyl transferase (GOAT) mRNA levels in PG-1 cells. Our results suggest that the medium-chain fatty acid used for the acyl-modification of ghrelin is produced in ghrelin-producing cells themselves by β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids provided from the circulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas