Ghrelin (Grln) is a peptide hormone that is predominantly produced in the stomach and stimulates appetite and induces growth hormone (GH) release. We have previously reported that ghrelin is also expressed in T cells and exerts prothymic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the biologic relevance of T cell-derived ghrelin remains to be determined. Here, we report that acylated-bioactive ghrelin is expressed in human T cells and preferentially segregates within the lipid raft domains upon TCR ligation. The RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated down-regulation of ghrelin in primary human T cells activates IkB, and increases Th1 cytokines and IL-17 secretion. Ghrelin expression declines with increasing age in spleen and T cells and exogenous ghrelin administration in old mice reduces proinflammatory cytokines. These findings demonstrate that ghrelin functions in an autocrine and paracrine capacity to regulate proinflammatory cytokine expression in human and murine T cells and may contribute in regulating "inflammaging".
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology