Objective: Th e role of Ghrelin, also known as the appetite hormone, is not fully explained in the development of morbid obesity. Plasma Ghrelin level is low in obese and high in slim subjects. Ghrelin-expressing cells were investigated histopathologically in the stomach of morbid obese patients in this study. Tissue Ghrelin expression was also compared with various parameters such as the distribution of endocrine cells, age, gender, body mass index, preoperative plasma Ghrelin level and presence of accompanying diseases.
Material and Method: Th e study included 33 morbidly obese patients, and 8 non-obese control patients. Plasma Ghrelin levels were measured preoperatively. Sleeve gastrectomy resection materials of 33 cases were evaluated with histopathological and immunohistochemical (Ghrelin and Chromogranin-A) techniques. Th e results were statistically evaluated by nonparametric tests.
Results: Histopathological findings observed in sleeve gastrectomy resection materials were interstitial lymphocytic infiltration (63.6%), hyperplasia of lymphoid follicles in the lamina propria (60.7%) and microvesiculation / dilatation of parietal cells (57.6%). Th e number of Ghrelin immunopositive cells in the gastric mucosa in females was significantly higher compared to males (p=0,007). Additionally, the number of Ghrelin immunopositive cells was significantly higher at the fundus-proximal corpus compared to the distal corpus of the stomach (p=0.0001). No significant correlation was found between Ghrelin-chromogranin immunopositive endocrine cell distribution and preoperative plasma Ghrelin levels and endocrine cell hyperplasia.
Conclusion: Our study confirms that Ghrelin producing cells are most dense in the proximal stomach. Increased number of Ghrelin expressing cells in the gastric mucosa in females compared to males suggests that gender may also be a factor in determining the method for treatment of morbid obesity.
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