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Cell Metab. 2008 May;7(5):400-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.03.007.

Ghrelin modulates brain activity in areas that control appetitive behavior.

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  • 1Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B4, Canada.

Abstract

Feeding behavior is often separated into homeostatic and hedonic components. Hedonic feeding, which can be triggered by visual or olfactory food cues, involves brain regions that play a role in reward and motivation, while homeostatic feeding is thought to be under the control of circulating hormones acting primarily on the hypothalamus. Ghrelin is a peptide hormone secreted by the gut that causes hunger and food consumption. Here, we show that ghrelin administered intravenously to healthy volunteers during functional magnetic resonance imaging increased the neural response to food pictures in regions of the brain, including the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior insula, and striatum, implicated in encoding the incentive value of food cues. The effects of ghrelin on the amygdala and OFC response were correlated with self-rated hunger ratings. This demonstrates that metabolic signals such as ghrelin may favor food consumption by enhancing the hedonic and incentive responses to food-related cues.

PMID:
18460331
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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