Ghrelin and its promoter variant associated with cardiac hypertrophy

Ukkola, O; Pääkkö, T; Kesäniemi, Y A
July 2012
Journal of Human Hypertension;Jul2012, Vol. 26 Issue 7, p452
Academic Journal
The roles of ghrelin, a peptide hormone that has a role in regulating food intake and energy homeostasis, in the cardiovascular system have not yet been unambiguously established. We evaluated the association between plasma ghrelin concentrations and −501A>C single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the ghrelin gene 5′ flanking area and echocardiographic measurements in 1037 middle-aged subjects. Left ventricular mass index (LVMI) was calculated according to Devereux's method. The ambulatory blood pressure (BP) was recorded using the fully automatic SpaceLabs 90207 oscillometric unit. Results suggested that plasma ghrelin was not related to mean ambulatory BP values. However, the highest plasma ghrelin tertile was associated with increased intraventricular septum (P=0.043) and posterior ventricular wall (P=0.002) thicknesses as well as left ventricular mass (P=0.05). After adjustment for age, sex, body mass index and systolic BP, the association persisted between ghrelin tertiles and intraventricular septum (P=0.05) and posterior ventricular wall (P=0.001) thicknesses. The SNP −501A>C polymorphism was associated with LVMI after adjustments for age, sex and systolic BP. In conclusion, ghrelin and its promoter variant are associated with cardiac hypertrophy indexes independent of BP. Positive correlation between ghrelin levels and increased wall thickness parameters may reflect compensatory up-regulation of ghrelin concentrations or direct effects of ghrelin on myocardium. The effects of the SNP seem not to be mediated through its effects on ghrelin plasma levels.


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