The orexigenic hormone ghrelin defends against depressive symptoms of chronic stress

Michael Lutter, Ichiro Sakata, Sherri Osborne-Lawrence, Sherry A. Rovinsky, Jason G. Anderson, Saendy Jung, Shari G Birnbaum, Masashi Yanagisawa, Joel K Elmquist, Eric J. Nestler, Jeffrey M Zigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

378 Scopus citations


We found that increasing ghrelin levels, through subcutaneous injections or calorie restriction, produced anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like responses in the elevated plus maze and forced swim test. Moreover, chronic social defeat stress, a rodent model of depression, persistently increased ghrelin levels, whereas growth hormone secretagogue receptor (Ghsr) null mice showed increased deleterious effects of chronic defeat. Together, these findings demonstrate a previously unknown function for ghrelin in defending against depressive-like symptoms of chronic stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-753
Number of pages2
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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