eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 45
Review paper

Ghrelin and oral diseases

Sylwia Małgorzata Słotwińska

Department of Oral Hygiene, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Cent Eur J Immunol 2020; 45 (4): 433–438
Online publish date: 2021/01/30
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Eating food is one of the most complicated behaviours in mammals, especially humans. The primary function of ghrelin is regulation of the appetite level and its stimulation. It is also responsible for the body’s energy balance and glucose homeostasis. Ghrelin has been shown to affect many brain structures, which confirms the presence of ghrelin receptors in the brain. Studies are also conducted to assess the possible role of ghrelin in anxiety states and in memory disorders and motor dysfunctions. Ghrelin has been found in saliva and salivary glands, teeth and gums, and in the taste buds of the tongue epithelium; it is also secreted by mucosal cells and gingival fibroblasts. The presence of ghrelin in developmental enamel, especially in odontoblasts and ameloblasts, may suggest its regulatory role in the development of teeth. Patients with chronic periodontitis have significantly higher concentrations of ghrelin in the peripheral blood serum, as compared to the control group. Ghrelin plays a special role in the proliferation of cancer cells and in the development of neoplastic metastases. The abundant presence of ghrelin receptors in cancer cells is considered an important target in the treatment of neoplasms. Ghrelin is a hormone whose multidirectional mechanism of action has not yet been fully understood. However, its ubiquitous occurrence in the human body and its very diverse participation in metabolic processes may prove to be a significant obstacle in achieving the expected clinical effect of ghrelin as an effective drug in selected disease units.

ghrelin, salivary secretion, oral diseases, oral cancer, healing

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