Motilin

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Motilin is a hormone produced from endocrine cells of the duodenal mucosa to help regulate motility of the digestive tract. This review discusses new findings on the potential impact of motilin in human medicine.

Recent findings

Motilin is a member of the peptide family that includes ghrelin whose cDNA also encodes a new candidate peptide, obestatin. Physiological interactions between these products will have to be explored. Pharmacological agents, agonists as well as antagonists, to motilin receptors are now emerging for clinical application. Motilin-receptor characterization, regarding its localization on nerves or muscles, as well as its biochemical mechanisms to sensitization for example, will be important steps in the design of future motilin agonists or antagonists.

Summary

Motilin is a fascinating hormone for the physiologist. Its interaction with the family member ghrelin and with obestatin will open new areas for basic research. Motilin-receptor agonists or antagonists could soon be part of the therapeutic arsenal of the clinician to improve digestive dysmotility.

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