Heather A. Halem

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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)
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)
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)
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)
UNLABELLED Cardiac cachexia is a serious complication of chronic heart failure with a prevalence of 10-16% and poor prognosis. There are no current therapy options for cardiac cachexia. Ghrelin is the natural ligand for the GHS-1a-receptor and a potential target for conditions associated with cachexia. Ghrelin has been shown to increase weight in several(More)
Recent studies suggest that spontaneous physical activity (SPA) may be under the non-conscious control of neuroendocrine circuits that are known to control food intake. To further elucidate endocrine gut-brain communication as a component of such circuitry, we here analyzed long-term and acute effects of the gastrointestinal hormones ghrelin and PYY 3-36 as(More)
Elevated levels of active glucocorticoids have been implicated in the development of several phenotypes of metabolic syndrome, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) catalyses the intracellular conversion of inactive cortisone to cortisol. Selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitors have shown beneficial effects in various(More)
11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) plays a key role in converting intracellular cortisone to physiologically active cortisol, which is implicated in the development of several phenotypes of metabolic syndrome. Inhibition of 11β-HSD1 activity with selective inhibitors has beneficial effects on various conditions, including diabetes,(More)
This is the peer-reviewed and corrected version of a work accepted for publication by Elsevier. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. The definitive version has This version is made available in accordance with publisher policies. Please cite only the published version using the reference above. Abstract(More)