The effect of ghrelin upon the early immune response in lean and obese mice during sepsis

Daniel Siegl, Emily F. Midura, Thorsten Annecke, Peter Conzen, Charles C. Caldwell, Johannes Tschoep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: It is well established that obesity-related hormones can have modulatory effects associated with the immune response. Ghrelin, a hormone mainly derived from endocrine cells of the gastric mucosa, regulates appetite, energy expenditure and body weight counteracting leptin, a hormone mainly derived from adipocytes. Additionally, receptors of both have been detected on immune cells and demonstrated an immune regulatory function during sepsis. Methods: In the present study, the effect of peripheral ghrelin administration on early immune response and survival was investigated with lean mice and mice with diet-induced obesity using cecal ligation and puncture to induce sepsis. Results: In the obese group, we found that ghrelin treatment improved survival, ameliorated hypothermia, and increased hyperleptinemia as compared to the lean controls. We also observed that ghrelin treatment divergently regulated serum IL-1ß and TNF-α concentrations in both lean and obese septic mice. Ghrelin treatment initially decreased but later resulted in increased bacteriaemia in lean mice while having no impact upon obese mice. Similarly, ghrelin treatment increased early neutrophil oxidative burst while causing a decrease 48 hours after sepsis inducement. Conclusion: In conclusion, as the immune response to sepsis temporally changes, ghrelin treatment differentially mediates this response. Specifically, we observed that ghrelin conferred protective effects during the early phase of sepsis, but during the later phase deteriorated immune response and outcome. These adverse effects were more pronounced upon lean mice as compared to obese mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0122211
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 6 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2015 Siegl et al.


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