Ghrelin and eating behavior: Evidence and insights from genetically-modified mouse models

Aki Uchida, Jeffrey M. Zigman, Mario Perelló

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Ghrelin is an octanoylated peptide hormone, produced by endocrine cells of the stomach, which acts in the brain to increase food intake and body weight. Our understanding of the mechanisms underlying ghrelin's effects on eating behaviors has been greatly improved by the generation and study of several genetically manipulated mouse models. These models include mice overexpressing ghrelin and also mice with genetic deletion of ghrelin, the ghrelin receptor [the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR)] or the enzyme that post-translationally modifies ghrelin [ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT)]. In addition, a GHSR-null mouse model in which GHSR transcription is globally blocked but can be cell-specifically reactivated in a Cre recombinase-mediated fashion has been generated. Here, we summarize findings obtained with these genetically manipulated mice, with the aim to highlight the significance of the ghrelin system in the regulation of both homeostatic and hedonic eating, including that occurring in the setting of chronic psychosocial stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 121
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue number7 JUL
StatePublished - 2013


  • GHSR
  • GOAT
  • Hedonic eating
  • Homeostatic eating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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