Ghrelin is a 28-amino acid peptide that regulates GH release together with GHRH and somatostatin. The expression of ghrelin has been detected in the stomach, small intestine, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, kidney, placenta, and testis. Recently it was reported that ghrelin is present in pancreatic α-cells and that it stimulates insulin secretion. In this study, we examined the ghrelin expression in two cases of glucagonoma and two cases of insulinoma by Northern blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Ghrelin expression was identified in a case of glucagonoma associated with multiple endocrine neoplasm type I both by Northern blot analysis using total RNA and by immunohistochemistry, although the plasma ghrelin level was not elevated. This is the first case of tumor in which ghrelin gene expression was detected by Northern blot analysis using total RNA.
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