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Polymorphisms of the ghrelin/obestatin gene and ghrelin levels in Chinese children with short stature

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Summary Objective 

To investigate the role of ghrelin and polymorphisms of ghrelin/obestatin gene in children with short stature. Methods 

A total of 117 GH deficient (GHD) and 81 idiopathic short stature (ISS) children were studied. The controls consisted of 125 age and gender-matched healthy children. The Arg51Gln, Leu72Met and Gln90Leu polymorphisms were genotyped using MassArray and total plasma ghrelin was measured by radioimmunoassay. Results 

In this study, the frequency of the Arg51Gln polymorphism was very low (0% in controls and 1·0% in patients). The frequency of the Gln90Leu polymorphism was 1·6% in controls and 0·5% in patients, respectively. Higher frequencies of Leu72Met (34·4% in controls and 39·9% in patients) and Met72Met genotypes (4·0% in controls and 2·0% in patients) were found. The differences in the Arg51Gln, Leu72Met or Gln90Leu genotypes and allele frequencies between patients and controls were not significant. Also, there were no significant differences in the Leu72Met genotypes and allele frequencies between GHD and ISS subgroups. There were no significant differences in clinical characteristics and biochemistry markers (including ghrelin levels) among the different genotypes of Leu72Met. However, plasma ghrelin levels in the GHD group were significantly lower than those of controls (P = 0·001). Conclusion 

These results suggest that ghrelin may have a role in GH secretion and controlling growth. Lower ghrelin levels, but not ghrelin/obestatin polymorphism, might contribute to GHD.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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