Relation of ghrelin, leptin and inflammatory markers to nutritional status in active pulmonary tuberculosis

Ji Hae Kim, Choon Taek Lee, Ho Il Yoon, Junghan Song, Wan Gyoon Shin, Jae Ho Lee

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27 Scopus citations


Backgrounds & aims: Malnutrition is a prominent feature of tuberculosis. Little is known about the role of the appetite-related hormones, ghrelin and leptin, in malnutrition in tuberculosis. This study was undertaken to determine whether ghrelin and leptin contribute to malnutrition in active pulmonary tuberculosis. Methods: Nutritional parameters and plasma levels of ghrelin, leptin, and inflammatory cytokines were measured before treatment and after clinical improvement following anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy in 23 tuberculosis subjects and 23 healthy controls prospectively. Patients were divided into well-nourished (n=15) and malnourished (n=8) groups. Results: Ghrelin but not leptin levels were significantly lower in the malnourished tuberculosis group than in the well-nourished tuberculosis group [44.0 (43.0-54.0) vs. 122 (108-158). pg/mL; p<0.05]. Malnutrition score was negatively correlated to ghrelin (ρ=-0.76, p<0.01) but not to leptin levels. TNF-α and IL-6 levels were significantly higher in the malnourished tuberculosis group than in the well-nourished tuberculosis group and controls. Plasma levels of ghrelin tended to decrease as inflammatory cytokines increased before treatment. Conclusions: Decreased plasma ghrelin levels, in addition to increased plasma inflammatory cytokine levels, may be associated with malnutrition in active pulmonary tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-518
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Cytokine
  • Ghrelin
  • Leptin
  • Nutritional status
  • Tuberculosis

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