Unraveling the link between leptin, ghrelin and different types of colitis

Authors Elisavet K. Tiaka, Anastassios C. Manolakis, Andreas N. Kapsoritakis, Spyros P. Potamianos.


Leptin and ghrelin are hormones with a tight inverse functional connection. Their inverse association is observed not only in the modulation of metabolism but also in the interaction with the immune system. A large number of studies have been launched regarding their association with various disorders, including different types of colitis. The majority of the available literature, however, focuses on inflammatory bowel disease. The role of leptin and ghrelin appears to be aggravating in most of these studies. Concerning intestinal infections, their levels seem to depend on the presence of certain species of micro-biota. As for models of ischemic and miscellaneous colitis, both hormones seem to act protectively, although evidence deriving from human studies is needed before any safe conclusions can be made. Conclusively, it seems that available data, from in vitro, animal and human studies, suggest of a multifarious role for leptin and ghrelin, in the face of different triggers, which in turn cause diverse types of colitis. Bearing this in mind, gaps and loose ends are detected in the associated literature to encourage further research through which the association of leptin and ghrelin with intestinal inflammation could be clarified and expanded so that other types of colitis could also be included.

Keywords adipokines, leptin, ghrelin, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, infection, ischemia
Ann Gastroenterol 2011; 24 (1): 20-28