Independent stimulation of either the ghrelin or endocannabinoid system promotes food intake and increases adiposity. Given the similar distribution of their receptors in feeding associated brain regions and organs involved in metabolism, it is not surprising that evidence of their interaction and its importance in modulating energy balance has emerged. This review documents the relationship between ghrelin and endocannabinoid systems within the periphery and hypothalamus (HYP) before presenting evidence suggesting that these two systems likewise work collaboratively within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to modulate non-homeostatic feeding. Mechanisms, consistent with current evidence and local infrastructure within the VTA, will be proposed.

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Keywords Adiposity, CB-1Rs, Endocannabinoids, Food intake, Ghrelin, GHSRs, Interaction, VTA
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Journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Edwards, A. (Alexander), & Abizaid, A. (2016). Driving the need to feed: Insight into the collaborative interaction between ghrelin and endocannabinoid systems in modulating brain reward systems. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (Vol. 66, pp. 33–53). doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.03.032