Effect of reducing hypothalamic ghrelin receptor gene expression on energy balance

Peptides. 2009 Jul;30(7):1336-41. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2009.03.013. Epub 2009 Mar 27.


Central and peripheral injections of fghrelin potently stimulates food intake via its receptor, GHSR1a expressed in the brain. In this study, we explored the role of GHSR1a in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) by reducing their gene expression using the RNA interference (RNAi). pSUPER plasmids inserted with sh (short hairpin)-GHSR1a were injected into the PVN to reduce its expression. The transfected rats were monitored daily for their food intake and body weight throughout the experimental period lasting 8 days. We found that knockdown of GHSR1a did not affect daily food intake but significantly reduced body weight and blood ghrelin levels. This suggests that the central ghrelin system could selectively regulate body weight without affecting energy intake.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Eating / genetics
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Ghrelin / blood
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA Interference
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Ghrelin / genetics
  • Receptors, Ghrelin / metabolism*


  • Ghrelin
  • Receptors, Ghrelin