Ghrelin and its analogues, BIM-28131 and BIM-28125, improve body weight and regulate the expression of MuRF-1 and MAFbx in a rat heart failure model.
ABSTRACT: Cardiac cachexia is a serious complication of chronic heart failure with a prevalence of 10-16% and poor prognosis. There are no current therapy options for cardiac cachexia. Ghrelin is the natural ligand for the GHS-1a-receptor and a potential target for conditions associated with cachexia. Ghrelin has been shown to increase weight in several species. The GHS-1a-receptor is not only found in the brain, but also in other tissues, including the myocardium. Human clinical trials with native ghrelin in cardiac cachexia demonstrated increases in appetite, weight and cardiac output.Human ghrelin or one of two analogues BIM-28125 and BIM-28131 (also known as RM-131) were tested at 50 nmole/kg/d and 500 nmole/kg/d versus placebo in a rat model of heart failure (myocardial infarction). Animals (SD-rats, approx. 225 g at surgery) received diuretics from day 14 and compounds from day 28 for 4 weeks using osmotic pumps. Weight was monitored and body composition analysed (NMR-scanning). Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and hemodynamics.Animals with MI gained less weight compared to sham rats until start of the therapy (311 g vs 324 g, p?=?0.0129). Animals treated with BIM-28131 at 50 nmole/kg/d or all compounds at 500 nmole/kg/d displayed stronger weight gain compared to placebo and sham (all p<0.001). Before treatment, body composition was similar in all groups (average: 36 g fat, 248 g lean). Placebo-treated rats gained no fat, but only lean mass. The active compounds induced both fat and lean mass gain, but to a different extent. The fat-to-muscle-ratio of tissue gain was 0.9±0.07 for BIM-28131 at 50 nmole/kg/d, whereas at 500 nmole/kg/d it was 0.76±0.07 for BIM-28131, 0.68±0.12 for BIM-28125, and 0.48±0.05 for ghrelin. MuRF-1 and MAFbx were differentially regulated by treatment.Ghrelin is a very promising treatment option for cardiac cachexia, with the analogue BIM-28131 (RM-131) being the most effective compound.
Project description:PURPOSE OF REVIEW:Cachexia is a devastating complication of cancer for which there is no approved treatment. Here we review the clinical development of ghrelin and ghrelin mimetics (also known as growth hormone secretagogues or GHS) for cancer cachexia treatment. RECENT FINDINGS:Ghrelin, a novel hormone known to increase appetite, lean and fat mass, and growth hormone secretion, is being developed as a therapeutic option for cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CACS). Recent animal studies suggest that it may also decrease inflammation and that some of its effects may be independent of its only known receptor, the GHS receptor-1a.Clinical studies recently have shown that administration of ghrelin or GHS improves appetite and quality of life as assessed by questionnaires. Weight gain, increased food intake and better tolerance to chemotherapy have also been reported. This treatment appears to be safe and well tolerated. SUMMARY:Ghrelin and GHS have the potential to effectively prevent or reverse CACS. Preliminary studies show improvements in weight stabilization and appetite with short-term usage. Further studies are required to fully characterize the role of ghrelin and GHS for the treatment of CACS and to establish the safety of this approach.
Project description:Cancer cachexia (CC) is a multifactorial disease characterized by decreased food intake and loss of body weight due to reduced musculature with or without loss of fat mass. Patients with gastric cancer have a high incidence of cachexia. We previously established a novel CC rat model induced by human gastric cancer-derived 85As2 cells in order to examine the pathophysiology of CC and identify potential therapeutics. In patients with CC, anorexia is often observed, despite elevation of ghrelin, suggesting that ghrelin resistance may develop in these patients. In this study, we aimed to clarify the occurrence of ghrelin resistance in CC rats accompanied by anorexia and we investigated whether rikkunshito (RKT), a traditional Japanese Kampo medicine that potentiates ghrelin signaling, ameliorated CC-related anorexia through alleviation of ghrelin resistance. 85As2-tumor-bearing rats developed severe CC symptoms, including anorexia and loss of body weight/musculature, with the latter symptoms being greater in cachectic rats than in non-tumor-bearing or pair-fed rats. CC rats showed poor responses to intraperitoneal injection of ghrelin. In CC rats, plasma ghrelin levels were elevated and hypothalamic anorexigenic peptide mRNA levels were decreased, whereas hypothalamic growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) mRNA was not affected. In vitro, RKT directly enhanced ghrelin-induced GHS-R activation. RKT administrated orally for 7 days partly alleviated the poor response to ghrelin and ameliorated anorexia without affecting the elevation of plasma ghrelin levels in CC rats. The expression of hypothalamic orexigenic neuropeptide Y mRNA but not hypothalamic GHS-R mRNA was increased by RKT. Thus, the 85As2 cell-induced CC rat model developed ghrelin resistance, possibly contributing to anorexia and body weight loss. The mechanism through which RKT ameliorated anorexia in the CC rat model may involve alleviation of ghrelin resistance by enhancement of ghrelin signaling. These findings suggest that RKT may be a promising agent for the treatment of CC.
Project description:Cachexia is a metabolic wasting disorder characterized by progressive weight loss, muscle atrophy, fatigue, weakness, and appetite loss. Cachexia is associated with almost all major chronic illnesses including cancer, heart failure, obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease and significantly impedes treatment outcome and therapy tolerance, reducing physical function and increasing mortality. Current cachexia treatments are limited and new pharmacological strategies are needed. Agonists for the growth hormone secretagogue (GHS-R1a), or ghrelin receptor, prospectively regulate the central regulation of appetite and growth hormone secretion, and therefore have tremendous potential as cachexia therapeutics. Non-peptide GHS-R1a agonists are of particular interest, especially given the high gastrointestinal degradation of peptide-based structures, including that of the endogenous ligand, ghrelin, which has a half-life of only 30 min. However, few compounds have been reported in the literature as non-peptide GHS-R1a agonists. In this paper, we investigate the in vitro potential of quinolone compounds to modulate the GHS-R1a in both transfected human cells and mouse hypothalamic cells. These chemically synthesized compounds demonstrate a promising potential as GHS-R1a agonists, shown by an increased intracellular calcium influx. Further studies are now warranted to substantiate and exploit the potential of these novel quinolone-based compounds as orexigenic therapeutics in conditions of cachexia and other metabolic and eating disorders.
Project description:Loss of appetite in the medically ill and ageing populations is a major health problem and a significant symptom in cachexia syndromes, which is the loss of muscle and fat mass. Ghrelin is a gut-derived hormone which can stimulate appetite. Herein we describe a novel, simple, non-peptidic, 2-pyridone which acts as a selective agonist for the ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1a). The small 2-pyridone demonstrated clear agonistic activity in both transfected human cells and mouse hypothalamic cells with endogenous GHS-R1a receptor expression. In vivo tests with the hit compound showed significant increased food intake following peripheral administration, which highlights the potent orexigenic effect of this novel GHS-R1a receptor ligand.
Project description:Cancer cachexia is characterized by decreased body weight (mainly lean body mass [LBM]) and negatively impacts quality of life (QOL) and prognosis. Anamorelin (ONO-7643) is a novel selective ghrelin receptor agonist under development for treating cancer cachexia.In this double-blind, exploratory phase 2 trial, we examined the efficacy and safety of anamorelin in Japanese patients (n = 181) with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and cancer cachexia (?5 % weight loss within the previous 6 months). The participants were randomized into three groups and were administered 50 or 100 mg anamorelin, or placebo, orally every day for 12 weeks. The co-primary endpoints were the changes from baseline over 12 weeks in LBM and handgrip strength (HGS). Secondary endpoints included body weight, QOL, Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS), and serum biomarkers.The change in LBM over 12 weeks was 0.55 and 1.15 kg in the placebo and 100-mg anamorelin groups, respectively, but the efficacy of anamorelin in HGS was not detected. The changes in body weight were -0.93, 0.54, and 1.77 kg in the placebo, 50-mg anamorelin, and 100-mg anamorelin groups, respectively. Anamorelin (100 mg) significantly improved KPS and QOL-ACD compared with placebo. Administration of anamorelin for 12 weeks was well tolerated.This phase 2 study showed that 100 mg anamorelin has promising results in improving lean body mass, performance status, and especially, QOL in patients with cancer cachexia.
Project description:Obesity is a hallmark of aging in many Western societies, and is a precursor to numerous serious age-related diseases. Ghrelin (Ghrl), via its receptor (growth hormone secretagogue receptor, GHS-R), is shown to stimulate GH secretion and appetite. Surprisingly, our previous studies showed that Ghrl(-/-) mice have impaired thermoregulatory responses to cold and fasting stresses, while Ghsr(-/-) mice are adaptive.To elucidate the mechanism, we analyzed the complete metabolic profiles of younger (3-4 months) and older (10-12 months) Ghrl(-/-) and Ghsr(-/-) mice. Food intake and locomotor activity were comparable for both null mice and their wild-type (WT) counterparts, regardless of age. There was also no difference in body composition between younger null mice and their WT counterparts. As the WT mice aged, as expected, the fat/lean ratio increased and energy expenditure (EE) decreased. Remarkably, however, older Ghsr(-/-) mice exhibited reduced fat/lean ratio and increased EE when compared to older WT mice, thus retaining a youthful lean and high EE phenotype; in comparison, there was no significant difference with EE in Ghrl(-/-) mice. In line with the EE data, the thermogenic regulator, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), was significantly up-regulated in brown adipose tissue (BAT) of Ghsr(-/-) mice, but not in Ghrl(-/-) mice.Our data therefore suggest that GHS-R ablation activates adaptive thermogenic function(s) in BAT and increases EE, thereby enabling the retention of a lean phenotype. This is the first direct evidence that the ghrelin signaling pathway regulates fat-burning BAT to affect energy balance during aging. This regulation is likely mediated through an as-yet-unidentified new ligand of GHS-R.
Project description:Ghrelin, a recently described endogenous ligand for the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), is produced by stomach cells and is a potent circulating orexigen, controlling energy expenditure, adiposity, and growth hormone secretion. However, the functional role of ghrelin in regulation of immune responses remains undefined. Here we report that GHS-R and ghrelin are expressed in human T lymphocytes and monocytes, where ghrelin acts via GHS-R to specifically inhibit the expression of proinflammatory anorectic cytokines such as IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha. Ghrelin led to a dose-dependent inhibition of leptin-induced cytokine expression, while leptin upregulated GHS-R expression on human T lymphocytes. These data suggest the existence of a reciprocal regulatory network by which ghrelin and leptin control immune cell activation and inflammation. Moreover, ghrelin also exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects and attenuates endotoxin-induced anorexia in a murine endotoxemia model. We believe this to be the first report demonstrating that ghrelin functions as a key signal, coupling the metabolic axis to the immune system, and supporting the potential use of ghrelin and GHS-R agonists in the management of disease-associated cachexia.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:The gastric hormone ghrelin has been reported to stimulate food intake, increase weight gain, and cause obesity but its precise physiological role remains unclear. We investigated the long term effects of gastrectomy evoked ghrelin deficiency and of daily ghrelin injections on daily food intake, body weight, fat mass, lean body mass, and bone mass in mice. METHODS:Ghrelin was given by subcutaneous injections (12 nmol/mouse once daily) for eight weeks to young female mice subjected to gastrectomy or sham operation one week previously. RESULTS:Gastrectomy reduced plasma concentrations of total ghrelin (octanoylated and des-octanoylated) and active (octanoylated) ghrelin by approximately 80%. Immediately after injection of ghrelin, the plasma concentration was supraphysiological and was still elevated 16 hours later. Daily food intake was not affected by either gastrectomy or ghrelin treatment. The effect of ghrelin on meal initiation was not studied. At the end point of the study, mean body weight was 15% lower in gastrectomised mice than in sham operated mice (p<0.001); daily ghrelin injections for eight weeks partially prevented this weight loss. In sham operated mice, ghrelin had no effect on body weight. The weight of fat was reduced in gastrectomised mice (-30%; p<0.01). This effect was reversed by ghrelin, enhancing the weight of fat in sham operated mice also (+20%; p<0.05). Gastrectomy reduced lean body mass (-10%; p<0.01) and bone mass (-20%; p<0.001) compared with sham operated mice. Ghrelin replacement prevented the gastrectomy induced decrease in lean body mass but did not affect bone. In sham operated mice, ghrelin affected neither of these two parameters. CONCLUSIONS:Ghrelin replacement partially reversed the gastrectomy induced reduction in body weight, lean body mass, and body fat but not in bone mass. In sham operated mice, ghrelin only increased fat mass. Our results suggest that ghrelin is mainly concerned with the control of fat metabolism and that ghrelin replacement therapy may alleviate the weight loss associated with gastrectomy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Body weight loss is a frequent complication after stroke, and its adverse effect on clinical outcome has been shown in several clinical trials. The purpose of this prospective longitudinal single-centre observational study was to investigate dynamical changes of body composition and body weight after ischemic stroke and an association with functional outcome. METHODS:Sixty-seven consecutive patients (age 69 ± 11 years, body mass index 27.0 ± 4.1 kg/m2 , 42% female patient, mean ± SD) with acute ischemic stroke with mild to moderate neurological deficit (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale median 4, ranged 0-12) were analysed in the acute phase (4 ± 2 days) and at 12 months (389 ± 26 days) follow-up. Body composition was examined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Cachexia was defined according to the consensus definition by body weight loss ≥5% within 1 year and additional clinical signs. Lean tissue wasting was considered if a ratio of upper and lower limbs lean mass sum to squared height (kg/m2 ) was ≤5.45 kg/m2 for female patient and ≤7.25 kg/m2 for male patient. RESULTS:According to the body weight changes after 12 months, 42 (63%) patients had weight gain or stable weight, 11 (16%) patients had moderate weight loss, and 14 (21%) patients became cachectic. A relative decline of 19% of fat tissue and 6.5% of lean tissue was observed in cachectic patients, while no changes of lean tissue were observed in non-cachectic patients after 12 months. The modified Rankin Scale was 48% higher (2.1 ± 1.6, P < 0.05), Barthel Index was 22% lower (71 ± 39, P < 0.01), and handgrip strength was 34% lower (21.9 ± 13.0, P < 0.05) in cachectic compared to non-cachectic patients after 12 months. The low physical performance if defined by Barthel Index <60 points was linked to the lean tissue wasting (OR 44.8, P < 0.01), presence of cachexia (OR 20.8, P < 0.01), and low body mass index <25 kg/m2 (OR 11.5, P < 0.05). After adjustment for cofounders, lean tissue wasting remained independently associated with the low physical performance at 12 months follow-up (OR 137.9, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:In this cohort study, every fifth patient with ischemic stroke fulfilled the criteria of cachexia within 12 months after index event. The incidence of cachexia was 21%. Cachectic patients showed the lowest functional and physical capacity.
Project description:Cachexia is a wasting condition associated with cancer types and, at the same time, is a serious and dose-limiting side effect of cancer chemotherapy. Skeletal muscle loss is one of the main characteristics of cachexia that significantly contributes to the functional muscle impairment. Calcium-dependent signaling pathways are believed to play an important role in skeletal muscle decline observed in cachexia, but whether intracellular calcium homeostasis is affected in this situation remains uncertain. Growth hormone secretagogues (GHS), a family of synthetic agonists of ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1a), are being developed as a therapeutic option for cancer cachexia syndrome; however, the exact mechanism by which GHS interfere with skeletal muscle is not fully understood.By a multidisciplinary approach ranging from cytofluorometry and electrophysiology to gene expression and histology, we characterized the calcium homeostasis in fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of adult rats with cisplatin-induced cachexia and established the potential beneficial effects of two GHS (hexarelin and JMV2894) at this level. Additionally, in vivo measures of grip strength and of ultrasonography recordings allowed us to evaluate the functional impact of GHS therapeutic intervention.Cisplatin-treated EDL muscle fibres were characterized by a ~18% significant reduction of the muscle weight and fibre diameter together with an up-regulation of atrogin1/Murf-1 genes and a down-regulation of Pgc1-a gene, all indexes of muscle atrophy, and by a two-fold increase in resting intracellular calcium, [Ca2+ ]i , compared with control rats. Moreover, the amplitude of the calcium transient induced by caffeine or depolarizing high potassium solution as well as the store-operated calcium entry were ~50% significantly reduced in cisplatin-treated rats. Calcium homeostasis dysregulation parallels with changes of functional ex vivo (excitability and resting macroscopic conductance) and in vivo (forelimb force and muscle volume) outcomes in cachectic animals. Administration of hexarelin or JMV2894 markedly reduced the cisplatin-induced alteration of calcium homeostasis by both common as well as drug-specific mechanisms of action. This effect correlated with muscle function preservation as well as amelioration of various atrophic indexes, thus supporting the functional impact of GHS activity on calcium homeostasis.Our findings provide a direct evidence that a dysregulation of calcium homeostasis plays a key role in cisplatin-induced model of cachexia gaining insight into the etiopathogenesis of this form of muscle wasting. Furthermore, our demonstration that GHS administration efficaciously prevents cisplatin-induced calcium homeostasis alteration contributes to elucidate the mechanism of action through which GHS could potentially ameliorate chemotherapy-associated cachexia.