The effect of the ghrelin-receptor agonist capromorelin on glucose metabolism in healthy cats

J. Pires, R. L. Greathouse, N. Quach, M. O. Huising, K. R. Crakes, M. Miller, C. Gilor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Somatostatin secretion from islet delta cells is important in maintaining low glycemic variability (GV) by providing negative feedback to beta cells and inhibiting insulin secretion. Capromorelin is a ghrelin-receptor agonist that activates the growth hormone secretagogue receptor on delta cells. We hypothesized that in cats, capromorelin administration will result in decreased GV at the expense of reduced insulin secretion and glucose tolerance. Seven healthy cats were treated with capromorelin from days 1–30. After the first day, fasting blood glucose increased (+13 ± 3 mg/dL, P < 0.0001), insulin decreased (+128 ± 122 ng/dL, P = 0.03), and glucagon was unchanged. Blood glucose was increased throughout an intravenous glucose tolerance test on day 1 with blunting of first-phase insulin response ([FPIR] 4,931 ± 2,597 ng/L/15 min) compared with day −3 (17,437 ± 8,302 ng/L/15 min, P = 0.004). On day 30, FPIR was still blunted (9,993 ± 4,285 ng/L/15 min, P = 0.045), but glucose tolerance returned to baseline. Mean interstitial glucose was increased (+19 ± 6 mg/dL, P = 0.03) on days 2–4 but returned to baseline by days 27–29 (P = 0.3). On days 2–4, GV was increased (SD = 9.7 ± 3.2) compared with baseline (SD = 5.0 ± 1.1, P = 0.02) and returned to baseline on days 27–29 (SD = 6.1 ± 1.1, P = 0.16). In summary, capromorelin caused a decline in insulin secretion and glycemic control and an increase in glucose variability early in the course of treatment, but these effects diminished toward the end of 30 d of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106484
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glucagon
  • Growth hormone
  • IGF-1
  • Insulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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