Motilin is a gastrointestinal hormone secreted by the duodenum. This peptide regulates a characteristic gastrointestinal contraction pattern, called the migrating motor complex, during the fasting state. Motilin also affects the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter, gastric motility and gastric accommodation in the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, motilin induces bile discharge into the duodenum by promoting gallbladder contraction, pepsin secretion in the stomach, pancreatic juice and insulin secretion from the pancreas. In recent years, it has been shown that motilin is associated with appetite, and clinical applications are expected for diseases affected by food intake, e.g. obesity, by regulating motilin levels. Gastric acid and bile are the two major physiological regulators for motilin release. Caloric foods have varying effects on motilin levels, depending on their composition. Among non-caloric foods, bitter substances reduce motilin levels and are therefore expected to have an appetite-suppressing effect. Various motilin receptor agonists and antagonists have been developed but have yet to reach clinical use.
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