Ghrelin increases anxiety-like behavior and memory retention in rats

Author: Carlini, V.P.; Monzon, M.E.; Varas, M.M.; Cragnolini, A.B.; Schioth, H.B.; Scimonelli, T.N.; de Barioglio, S.R.

Description: Ghrelin is a peptide found in the hypothalamus and stomach that stimulates food intake and whose circulating concentrations are affected by nutritional state. Very little is known about other central behavioral effects of ghrelin, and thus, we investigated the effects of ghrelin on anxiety and memory retention. The peptide was injected intracerebroventricularly in rats and we performed open-field, plus-maze, and step-down tests (inhibitory avoidance). The administration of ghrelin increased freezing in the open field and decreased the number of entries into the open spaces and the time spent on the open arms in the plus-maze, indicating an anxiogenic effect. Moreover, the peptide increased in a dose-dependent manner the latency time in the step-down test. A rapid and prolonged increase in food intake was also observed. Our results indicate that ghrelin induces anxiogenesis in rats. Moreover, we show for the first time that ghrelin increases memory retention, suggesting that the peptide may influence processes in the hippocampus.

Subject Headings: Animals; Anxiety; Appetite Regulation/drug effects; Behavior, Animal/drug effects; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Eating/drug effects; Ghrelin; Habituation, Psychophysiologic/drug effects; Locomotion/drug effects; Male; Memory/drug effects; Peptide Hormones/pharmacology/physiology; Rats; Rats, Wistar

Keywords: Ghrelin increases anxiety-like behavior and memory retention in rats

Publication year: 2002

Journal or book title: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

Volume: 299

Issue: 5

Pages: 739-743

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 2748