Ghrelin in the CNS: From hunger to a rewarding and memorable meal?

Pawel K. Olszewski, Helgi B. Schiöth, Allen S Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Ghrelin, the endogenous agonist of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor, has been shown to induce robust feeding responses in numerous experimental models. Although ghrelin comes from both peripheral and central sources, its hyperphagic properties, to a large extent, arise from activity at the brain level. The current review focuses on describing central mechanisms through which this peptide affects consumption. We address the issue of whether ghrelin serves just as a signal of energy needs of the organism or - as suggested by the most recent findings - also affects food intake via other feeding-related mechanisms, including reward and memory. Complexity of ghrelin's role in the regulation of ingestive behavior is discussed by characterizing its influence on consumption, reward and memory as well as by defining its function within the brain circuitry and interplay with other neuropeptides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-170
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
HBS is supported by the Swedish Research Council (VR, medicine).


  • Brain
  • Energy
  • Food intake
  • Ghrelin
  • Reward


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