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

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Abstract

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. © 2013 Uchida, Zigman and Perelló.

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Uchida, A., Zigman, J. M., & Perelló, M. (2013). Ghrelin and eating behavior: Evidence and insights from genetically-modified mouse models. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Frontiers Research Foundation. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2013.00121

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