Leptin and Ghrelin in Relation to Helicobacter pylori Status in Adult Males

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Abstract

Context:

Leptin and ghrelin, hormones involved in human energy homeostasis, are both produced in the stomach.

Objective:

We sought to determine whether the presence of Helicobacter pylori affects gastric and systemic levels of leptin and ghrelin.

Design, Setting, and Patients:

We consecutively enrolled 256 patients referred for upper endoscopy at a Veterans Affairs outpatient endoscopy center.

Outcomes:

We obtained fasting serum, fundic and antral biopsies, and gastric juice. Based on histological, biochemical, and serological assays, patients were categorized as H. pylori+ or H. pylori−. Leptin and total ghrelin levels in serum, gastric biopsies, and gastric juice were determined by specific ELISAs.

Results:

Of the 256 subjects, 120 were H. pylori+ and 96 were H. pylori−; 40 patients of indeterminate status were excluded. Serum and fundic leptin levels correlated with body mass index in the H. pylori+ (r = 0.35; P < 0.0001 and r = 0.35; P < 0.0001, respectively) and H. pylori− (r = 0.65; P < 0.0001 and r = 0.41; P < 0.0001, respectively) groups, but H. pylori+ subjects had significantly lower serum leptin levels [median 2.2 ng/ml (interquartile range 0.9-4.6) vs. 4.0 ng/ml (1.7-7.2); P = 0.0003]. Serum ghrelin levels were similar in the H. pylori+ and H. pylori− groups [median 1651 pg/ml (interquartile range 845-2247) vs. 1629 pg/ml (992-2886); P = 0.23]. H. pylori status did not significantly affect gastric biopsy leptin and ghrelin levels. Ghrelin levels in gastric juice varied over 4 log10 (<80-776,000 pg/ml) and correlated with gastric juice pH in the H. pylori+ group (r = 0.68; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions:

These findings provide evidence that H. pylori status affects leptin and ghrelin homeostasis, presumably via intragastric interactions.

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