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Blocking release of the hormone ghrelin may mediate low blood sugar effect in children taking beta blockers

Aug. 22, 2016 – Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a previously unknown role of a cellular signaling molecule involved in release of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin, a finding that could have implications for optimal treatment of children taking beta blockers.

“When beta 1 adrenergic receptors are removed from the ghrelin-producing cells of laboratory mice, the animals exhibit a marked reduction in circulating ghrelin levels,” said study senior author Dr. Jeffrey Zigman, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at UT Southwestern. “The effects of this reduction become apparent when the mice are placed on a calorie-restricted diet and include severe hypoglycemia and, as a result, reduced survival.”

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