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Feeding hormone ghrelin modulates ability of rewarding food to evoke dopamine release

Date:
July 12, 2011
Source:
Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
Summary:
New research finds that ghrelin, a natural gut hormone that stimulates feeding, also modulates the ability of tasty food and food-related cues to alter dopamine levels within the striatum, a critical component of the brain's reward system.

New research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that ghrelin, a natural gut hormone that stimulates feeding, also modulates the ability of tasty food and food-related cues to alter dopamine levels within the striatum, a critical component of the brain's reward system.

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Scientists measured dopamine in 'real-time' while rats ate sugar, a highly rewarding food. Administering ghrelin to rats while they ate sugar increased peak dopamine "spikes" within the striatum, whereas administering a drug that blocks ghrelin's actions significantly reduced dopamine levels during sugar intake.

Study author Dr. Mitch Roitman (University of Illinois at Chicago) says, "The modulation of brain dopamine reward signals by a gut hormone that regulates appetite strongly supports this interaction as a way to direct the organism's behavior towards further intake, perhaps by making food more rewarding. The results shed light on how peripheral body signals in general can shape brain-directed behavior."


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The above story is based on materials provided by Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. "Feeding hormone ghrelin modulates ability of rewarding food to evoke dopamine release." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712094040.htm>.
Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. (2011, July 12). Feeding hormone ghrelin modulates ability of rewarding food to evoke dopamine release. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712094040.htm
Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. "Feeding hormone ghrelin modulates ability of rewarding food to evoke dopamine release." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712094040.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

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