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Here we review recent advances that identify a role for the central ghrelin signalling system in reward from both natural rewards (such as food) and artificial rewards (that include alcohol and drugs of abuse). Whereas ghrelin emerged as a stomach-derived hormone involved in energy balance, hunger and meal initiation via hypothalamic circuits, it now seems(More)
The stomach-derived hormone ghrelin interacts with key CNS circuits regulating energy balance and body weight. Here we provide evidence that the central ghrelin signaling system is required for alcohol reward. Central ghrelin administration (to brain ventricles or to tegmental areas involved in reward) increased alcohol intake in a 2-bottle (alcohol/water)(More)
The most commonly abused drugs, alcohol and nicotine, are likely also the most costly drugs in terms of health and societal costs. A large body of evidence from epidemiological studies indicate that smoking and alcohol-intake are positively correlated. The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system has been implicated in mediating some of the reinforcing effects of(More)
Alcohol dependence is a heterogeneous disorder where several signalling systems play important roles. Recent studies implicate that the gut-brain hormone ghrelin, an orexigenic peptide, is a potential mediator of alcohol related behaviours. Ghrelin increases whereas a ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1A) antagonist decreases alcohol consumption as well as operant(More)
Ghrelin stimulates appetite, increases food intake and causes adiposity by mechanisms that include direct actions on the brain. Previously, we showed that intracerebroventricular administration of ghrelin has stimulatory and dopamine-enhancing properties. These effects of ghrelin are mediated via central nicotine receptors, suggesting that ghrelin can(More)
We investigated whether ghrelin action at the level of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a key node in the mesolimbic reward system, is important for the rewarding and motivational aspects of the consumption of rewarding/palatable food. Mice with a disrupted gene encoding the ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1A) and rats treated peripherally with a GHS-R1A antagonist(More)
INTRODUCTION Recently we demonstrated that genetic or pharmacological suppression of the central ghrelin signaling system, involving the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1A (GHS-R1A), lead to a reduced reward profile from alcohol. As the target circuits for ghrelin in the brain include a mesolimbic reward pathway that is intimately associated with(More)
The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system is believed to be involved in mediating the positive reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, including ethanol. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist mecamylamine perfused via reversed microdialysis in the ventral tegmental area antagonizes the increase of accumbal extracellular dopamine levels after systemic(More)
Previously, we have reported that the orexigenic peptide ghrelin activates the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward link, involving nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). The alpha(3)-alpha(7) and beta(2)-beta(4) subunits of the nAChR can be combined into pentameric nAChRs, with different functional roles. The present experiments show that the locomotor(More)
BACKGROUND The orexigenic peptide ghrelin activates the reward systems, specifically the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward link, suggesting that ghrelin may increase the incentive salience of motivated behaviours such as food seeking. Moreover, central ghrelin signalling, involving the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1A (GHS-R1A), is required for the(More)