Feeding hormone ghrelin modulates ability of rewarding food to evoke dopamine release

July 12, 2011

New research findings to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that ghrelin, a natural gut hormone that stimulates feeding, also modulates the ability of tasty food and food-related cues to alter dopamine levels within the striatum, a critical component of the brain's reward system.

Scientists measured dopamine in 'real-time' while rats ate sugar, a highly rewarding food. Administering ghrelin to rats while they ate sugar increased peak dopamine "spikes" within the , whereas administering a drug that blocks ghrelin's actions significantly reduced dopamine levels during .

Study author Dr. Mitch Roitman (University of Illinois at Chicago) says, "The modulation of brain dopamine reward signals by a gut hormone that regulates appetite strongly supports this interaction as a way to direct the organism's behavior towards further intake, perhaps by making food more rewarding. The results shed light on how peripheral body signals in general can shape brain-directed behavior."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

October 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have become the first to keep human brain tissue alive outside the body for several weeks. The researchers, headed by Dr. Niklas Schwarz, Dr. Henner Koch and Dr. Thomas Wuttke at ...

Cancer drug found to offer promising results in treating sepsis in test mice

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A combined team of researchers from China and the U.S. has found that a drug commonly used to treat lung cancer in humans offers a degree of protection against sepsis in test mice. In their paper published ...

Study reveals key molecular link in major cell growth pathway

October 19, 2017
A team of scientists led by Whitehead Institute has uncovered a surprising molecular link that connects how cells regulate growth with how they sense and make available the nutrients required for growth. Their work, which ...

Tracing cell death pathway points to drug targets for brain damage, kidney injury, asthma

October 19, 2017
University of Pittsburgh scientists are unlocking the complexities of a recently discovered cell death process that plays a key role in health and disease, and new findings link their discovery to asthma, kidney injury and ...

Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster

October 18, 2017
Scars may fade, but the skin remembers. New research from The Rockefeller University reveals that wounds or other harmful, inflammation-provoking experiences impart long-lasting memories to stem cells residing in the skin, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.