Heather A. Halem

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Obesity and nutrient homeostasis are linked by mechanisms that are not fully elucidated. Here we describe a secreted protein, adropin, encoded by a gene, Energy Homeostasis Associated (Enho), expressed in liver and brain. Liver Enho expression is regulated by nutrition: lean C57BL/6J mice fed high-fat diet (HFD) exhibited a rapid increase, while fasting(More)
Cancer cachexia is a debilitating syndrome of anorexia and loss of lean body mass that accompanies many malignancies. Ghrelin is an orexigenic hormone with a short half-life that has been shown to improve food intake and weight gain in human and animal subjects with cancer cachexia. We used a rat model of cancer cachexia and administered human ghrelin and a(More)
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines and can result in cachexia with loss of muscle and fat stores. We previously demonstrated the efficacy of treating a model of cancer cachexia with ghrelin and a ghrelin receptor agonist. Currently, we examine a surgical model of CKD in rats, resulting in uremia and(More)
Batterham et al. report that the gut peptide hormone PYY3-36 decreases food intake and body-weight gain in rodents, a discovery that has been heralded as potentially offering a new therapy for obesity. However, we have been unable to replicate their results. Although the reasons for this discrepancy remain undetermined, an effective anti-obesity drug(More)
The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) is well recognized as an important mediator of body weight homeostasis. Activation of MC4R causes dramatic weight loss in rodent models, and mutations in human are associated with obesity. This makes MC4R a logical target for pharmacological therapy for the treatment of obesity. However, previous studies in rodents and(More)
Ghrelin, the natural ligand for the growth hormone secretagogue-1a (GHS-1a) receptor, has received a great deal of attention due to its ability to stimulate weight gain and the hope that an antagonist of the GHS-1a receptor could be a treatment for obesity. We have discovered an analog of full-length human ghrelin, BIM-28163, which fully antagonizes GHS-1a(More)
Ghrelin, an endogenous ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), is the only circulating agent to powerfully promote a positive energy balance. Such action is mediated predominantly by central nervous system pathways controlling food intake, energy expenditure, and nutrient partitioning. The ghrelin pathway may therefore offer therapeutic(More)
AIMS The 28 amino acid hormone ghrelin, the natural ligand for the growth hormone secretagogue, or ghrelin receptor (GHR), has diverse physiological functions, including a possible role as a gastrointestinal prokinetic. The synthetic ghrelin mimetic RM-131 is in Phase II clinical trials for treatment of diabetic gastroparesis and other gastrointestinal (GI)(More)
Melanocortin receptor agonists act in the brain to regulate food intake and body weight and, independently of these actions, affect insulin sensitivity. These experiments investigated the function of novel non-selective melanocortin receptor agonists (BIM-22493, BIM-22511) that cross the blood-brain barrier when administered peripherally. Treatment of diet(More)
Ghrelin, the 28 amino acid peptide recently identified as the natural ligand for the growth hormone (GH) secretagogue (GHS) receptor, has multiple activities in addition to stimulation of GH secretion, including stimulation of feeding and weight gain. To utilize these actions for potential therapeutic benefit, we have produced analogs of human ghrelin with(More)