Growth hormone and ghrelin secretion in severely obese women before and after bariatric surgery

Maria E Valera Mora, Melania Manco, Esmeralda Capristo, Caterina Guidone, Amerigo Iaconelli, Donatella Gniuli, Giuseppina Rosa, Menotti Calvani, Geltrude Mingrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The objective was to evaluate ghrelin and growth hormone (GH) interactions and responses to a growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH)/arginine test in severe obesity before and after surgically-induced weight loss. Research Methods and Procedures: Our study population included 11 severely obese women 39 ± 12 years of age, with a mean BMI of 48.6 ± 2.4 kg/m 2, re-studied in a phase of stabilized body weight, with a BMI of 33.4 ± 1.2 kg/m 2, 18 months after having successfully undergone biliopancreatic diversion (BPD). A GHRH/arginine test was performed before and 18 months after BPD to evaluate ghrelin and GH interactions. Active ghrelin, measured by radioim-munoassay (RIA), and GH, measured by chemiluminescence assay, were assayed before and after the GHRH/ arginine test. Results: Fasting serum GH levels and GH area under the curve (AUC) significantly increased from 0.2 ± 0.05 ng/mL to 1 ± 0.3 ng/mL (p <0.05) and from 514.76 ± 98.7 ng/mL for 120 minutes to 1957.3 ± 665.1 ng/mL for 120 minutes after bariatric surgery (p <0.05), respectively. Although no significant change in fasting ghrelin levels was observed (573 ± 77.9 before BPD vs. 574.1 ± 32.7 after BPD), ghrelin AUC significantly increased from -3253.9 ± 2180.9 pg/mL for 120 minutes to 1142.3 ± 916.4 pg/mL for 120 minutes after BPD (p <0.05). Fasting serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 concentration did not change significantly (133.6 ± 9.9 ng/mL before vs. 153.3 ± 25.2 ng/mL after BPD). Discussion: Our study demonstrates that the mechanisms involved in ghrelin and GH secretion after the secretagogue stimulus (GHRH/arginine) are consistent with patterns observed in other populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2012-2018
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Biliopancreatic diversion
  • Ghrelin
  • Growth hormone
  • Growth hormone-releasing hormone/arginine test
  • Obese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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