Growth hormone releasing peptide (GHRP6) is one of several synthetic met-enkephalin analogs that include unnatural D-amino acids, were developed for their growth hormone releasing activity and are called GH secretagogues. They lack opioid activity but are potent stimulators of GH release. These secretagogues are distinct from growth hormone releasing hormone in that they share no sequence relation and derive their function through action at a completely different receptor. This receptor was originally called the GH secretagogue receptor; the hormone ghrelin is now considered the receptor's natural endogenous ligand. Therefore, these GH secretagouges act as synthetic ghrelinmimetics. The major side effect accompanied by the use of GHRP-6 or other GH secretagogues is a significant increase in appetite because secretagogues mimic the action of Ghrelin, a peptide which is released naturally in the lining of the stomach and increases hunger and gastric emptying. GHRP-6, other secretagogues and ghrelin stimulate the anterior pituitary gland causing an increase in GH release.
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