Ghrelin, reward and motivation

John R.W. Menzies, Karolina P. Skibicka, Gareth Leng, Suzanne L. Dickson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

41 Scopus citations


Almost all circulating gut peptides contribute to the control of food intake by signalling satiety. One important exception is ghrelin, the only orexigenic peptide hormone thus far described. Ghrelin secretion increases before meals and behavioural and electrophysiological evidence shows that ghrelin acts in the hypothalamus via homeostatic pathways to signal hunger and increase food intake and adiposity. These findings strongly suggest that ghrelin is a dynamically regulated peripheral hunger signal. However, ghrelin also interacts with the brain reward pathways to increase food intake, alter food preference and enhance food reward. Here we discuss ghrelin's role as an endocrine gut-brain reward signal in relation to homeostatic and hedonic feeding control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Ghrelin System
PublisherS. Karger AG
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783805599085
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameEndocrine Development
ISSN (Print)1421-7082
ISSN (Electronic)1662-2979

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


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