Peripheral ghrelin enhances sweet taste food consumption and preference, regardless of its caloric content

Emmanuel Disse, Anne Lise Bussier, Christelle Veyrat-Durebex, Nicolas Deblon, Paul T. Pfluger, Matthias H. Tschöp, Martine Laville, Françoise Rohner-Jeanrenaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Aims: Ghrelin is one of the most potent orexigens known to date. While the prevailing view is that ghrelin participates in the homeostatic control of feeding, the question arose as to whether consummatory responses evoked by this compound could be related to search for reward. We therefore attempted to delineate the involvement of ghrelin in the modulation of non-caloric but highly rewarding consumption. Methods: We tested the effect of intraperitoneally injected ghrelin on the acceptance and preference for a 0.3% saccharin solution using single bottle tests and free-choice preference test procedures in C57BL6/J mice, as well as in mice lacking the ghrelin receptor (GHSR1a -/-) and their wild-type (WT) littermates. Results: In the single bottle tests, peripheral ghrelin consistently increased the consumption of saccharin, independently of availability of caloric food. In the free-choice preference test procedures, ghrelin increased the preference for saccharin in WT mice, while it did had not effect in GHSR1a -/-animals, indicating that the ghrelin receptor pathway is necessary to mediate this parameter. Conclusions: Peripheral ghrelin enhances intake and preference for a sweet food, regardless of whether the food has caloric content. This effect, mediated through the ghrelin receptor pathway, may serve as additional enhancers of energy intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-281
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Flavour preference test
  • Food intake
  • Ghrelin
  • Saccharin


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