Ghrelin Receptor Stimulation of the Lateral Parabrachial Nucleus in Rats Increases Food Intake but not Food Motivation

Tina Bake, Marie V. Le May, Christian E. Edvardsson, Heike Vogel, Ulrika Bergström, Marjorie Nicholson Albers, Karolina P. Skibicka, Imre Farkas, Zsolt Liposits, Suzanne L. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: The lateral parabrachial nucleus (lPBN) in the brainstem has emerged as a key area involved in feeding control that is targeted by several circulating anorexigenic hormones. Here, the objective was to determine whether the lPBN is also a relevant site for the orexigenic hormone ghrelin, inspired by studies in mice and rats showing that there is an abundance of ghrelin receptors in this area. Methods: This study first explored whether iPBN cells respond to ghrelin involving Fos mapping and electrophysiological studies in rats. Next, rats were injected acutely with ghrelin, a ghrelin receptor antagonist, or vehicle into the lPBN to investigate feeding-linked behaviors. Results: Curiously, ghrelin injection (intracerebroventricular or intravenous) increased Fos protein expression in the lPBN yet the predominant electrophysiological response was inhibitory. Intra-lPBN ghrelin injection increased chow or high-fat diet intake, whereas the antagonist decreased chow intake only. In a choice paradigm, intra-lPBN ghrelin increased intake of chow but not lard or sucrose. Intra-lPBN ghrelin did not alter progressive ratio lever pressing for sucrose or conditioned place preference for chocolate. Conclusions: The lPBN is a novel locus from which ghrelin can alter consummatory behaviors (food intake and choice) but not appetitive behaviors (food reward and motivation).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1503-1511
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Ghrelin Receptor Stimulation of the Lateral Parabrachial Nucleus in Rats Increases Food Intake but not Food Motivation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this