May, 2012, La Jolla - Sujana Gunta MD MS, a Nephrology Fellow in Dr. Robert Mak’s lab at UC San Diego’s Department of Pediatrics, was awarded the Trainee Research Award for Basic Science at the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN) Annual Meeting, May 2012.
The award was based on Dr. Gunta’s research abstract entitled, “Ghrelin ameliorates cachexia, muscle wasting, cardiovascular complications, inflammation, and mortality in chronic kidney disease."
Dr. Gunta studied effects of ghrelin, which is an appetite-regulating hormone, in mice that underwent nephrectomy (CKD). Her results showed that a ghrelin-treatment was significantly able to decrease mortality rates in CKD mice. Ghreilin-treatment also increased food intake, weight gain, lean body mass, fat mass, metabolic rate, and efficiency of food consumption in CKD mice, whereas food consumption was decreased. Other beneficial effects of ghrelin included improved systolic blood pressure, amelioration of left ventricular hypertrophy, and decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines in the skeletal and heart muscle of CKD mice.
These studies demonstrate that ghrelin is a promising candidate for chronic kidney disease.
Other authors of this paper were Drs. Wilson Cheung, Nancy Dalton, Yusu Gu, Erika Alvarez, Kirk Peterson, and Robert Mak.
Written by: Shivani Singh, MS, Sr. Writer, Department of Pediatrics, UC San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego