Effects of feeding pattern on ghrelin and insulin secretion in pigs.
ABSTRACT Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that has been implicated in the regulation of feed intake, but little is known about its secretion in pigs. Hence, the effect of feeding pattern on the regulation of ghrelin secretion was tested. In experiment 1, barrows were allotted randomly into 1 of 2 groups, (1) ad libitum fed (CONT) and (2) limited access to feed (once per day, MEAL). Blood samples were taken through jugular catheters every 15 min for 6 h after 7 d on the experimental feeding regimen. Plasma concentrations of ghrelin and insulin were determined by radioimmunoassay. Ghrelin concentrations in the MEAL pigs were elevated before feeding and declined after feeding (P < 0.01). No pattern in plasma ghrelin concentrations was observed in the CONT pigs, but ghrelin concentrations were lower than in the MEAL group. Insulin concentrations were greater in CONT pigs (P < 0.01) during most of the sampling and increased after feeding in the MEAL pigs (P < 0.01). In experiment 2, the treatments were the same as in experiment 1; however, the amount of feed was increased in the MEAL group so that their daily intake was similar to the CONT pigs. Ghrelin concentrations in the MEAL group were again elevated before the meal and declined afterward (P < 0.01). Insulin but not glucose concentrations were negatively correlated with ghrelin. Once-per-day feeding resulted in increased plasma concentrations of ghrelin, which decreased after feeding. Ghrelin may be involved in the regulation of feed intake in pigs.