Cachexia is a wasting syndrome associated with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and several other disease states. It is characterized by weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, and skeletal muscle atrophy and is associated with poor patient prognosis, making it an important treatment target. Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth hormone (GH) release and positive energy balance through binding to the receptor GHSR-1a. Only acylated ghrelin (AG), but not the unacylated form (UnAG), can bind GHSR-1a; however, UnAG and AG share several GHSR-1a–independent biological activities. Here we investigated whether UnAG and AG could protect against skeletal muscle atrophy in a GHSR-1a–independent manner. We found that both AG and UnAG inhibited dexamethasone-induced skeletal muscle atrophy and atrogene expression through PI3Kβ-, mTORC2-, and p38-mediated pathways in myotubes. Upregulation of circulating UnAG in mice impaired skeletal muscle atrophy induced by either fasting or denervation without stimulating muscle hypertrophy and GHSR-1a–mediated activation of the GH/IGF-1 axis. In
Paolo E. Porporato, Nicoletta Filigheddu, Simone Reano, Michele Ferrara, Elia Angelino, Viola F. Gnocchi, Flavia Prodam, Giulia Ronchi, Sharmila Fagoonee, Michele Fornaro, Federica Chianale, Gianluca Baldanzi, Nicola Surico, Fabiola Sinigaglia, Isabelle Perroteau, Roy G. Smith, Yuxiang Sun, Stefano Geuna, Andrea Graziani
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.