The role of ghrelin in reward-based eating

Mario Perelló, Jeffrey M. Zigman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The peptide hormone ghrelin acts in the central nervous system as a potent orexigenic signal. Not only is ghrelin recognized as playing an important role in feeding circuits traditionally thought of as affecting body weight homeostasis, but also an accumulating number of scientific studies have identified ghrelin as being a key regulator of reward-based, hedonic eating behaviors. In the current article, we review ghrelin's orexigenic actions, the evidence linking ghrelin to food reward behavior, potential mechanisms by which ghrelin mediates reward-based eating behavior, and those studies suggesting an obligatory role for ghrelin in the changed eating behaviors induced by stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • Eating
  • GHSR
  • ghrelin
  • hedonic
  • reward
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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