Obestatin as a key regulator of metabolism and cardiovascular function with emerging therapeutic potential for diabetes

Elaine Cowan, Kerry J Burch, Brian D Green, David J Grieve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
223 Downloads (Pure)


Obestatin is a 23-amino acid C-terminally amidated gastrointestinal peptide derived from preproghrelin and which forms an alpha helix. Although obestatin has a short biological half-life and is rapidly degraded, it is proposed to exert wide-ranging pathophysiological actions. Whilst the precise nature of many of its effects is unclear, accumulating evidence supports positive actions on both metabolism and cardiovascular function. For example, obestatin has been reported to inhibit food and water intake, body weight gain, and gastrointestinal motility, and to also mediate promotion of cell survival and prevention of apoptosis. Obestatin-induced increases in β-cell mass, enhanced adipogenesis and improved lipid metabolism have been noted along with upregulation of genes associated with β-cell regeneration, insulin production and adipogenesis. Furthermore, human circulating obestatin levels generally demonstrate an inverse association with obesity and diabetes, whilst the peptide has been shown to confer protective metabolic effects in experimental diabetes, suggesting that it may hold therapeutic potential in this setting. Obestatin also appears to be involved in blood pressure regulation and to exert beneficial effects on endothelial function, with experimental studies indicating that it may also promote cardioprotective actions against, for example, ischaemia-reperfusion injury. This review will present a critical appraisal of the expanding obestatin research area and discuss the emerging therapeutic potential of this peptide for both metabolic and cardiovascular complications of diabetes. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2181
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number14
Early online date27 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


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