The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones that have been recognized to have a major influence on energy balance. Leptin is a mediator of long term regulation of energy balance, suppressing food intake and thereby inducing weight loss. Ghrelin, on the other hand, is a fast acting hormone, playing a role in meal initiation. As a growing number of people suffer from obesity, understanding the mechanisms by which various hormones and neurotransmitters influence energy balance has been a subject of intense research. This paper provides background on leptin and ghrelin hormones, their role in food intake and body weight in humans, and their mechanism of action. Possible abnormalities in the leptin and ghrelin systems that may contribute to the development of obesity will be mentioned. The role of gut hormones on hunger and satiety as well as the effect of sleep deprivation on these hormones will be briefly described. Finally, the potentials of leptin and ghrelin as drug targets will be described (Klok, et al., 2006).