Neuronal ablation of GHSR mitigates diet-induced depression and memory impairment via AMPK-autophagy signaling-mediated inflammation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Obesity is associated with chronic inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS), and neuroinflammation has been shown to have detrimental effects on mood and cognition. The growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR), the biologically relevant receptor of the orexigenic hormone ghrelin, is primarily expressed in the brain. Our previous study showed that neuronal GHSR deletion prevents high-fat diet-induced obesity (DIO). Here, we investigated the effect of neuronal GHSR deletion on emotional and cognitive functions in DIO. The neuron-specific GHSR-deficient mice exhibited reduced depression and improved spatial memory compared to littermate controls under DIO. We further examined the cortex and hippocampus, the major regions regulating cognitive and emotional behaviors, and found that the neuronal deletion of GHSR reduced DIO-induced neuroinflammation by suppressing proinflammatory chemokines/cytokines and decreasing microglial activation. Furthermore, our data showed that neuronal GHSR deletion suppresses neuroinflammation by downregulating AMPK-autophagy signaling in neurons. In conclusion, our data reveal that neuronal GHSR inhibition protects against DIO-induced depressive-like behavior and spatial cognitive dysfunction, at least in part, through AMPK-autophagy signaling-mediated neuroinflammation.

published proceedings

  • Front Immunol

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, H., Shen, Z., Wu, C., Ji, P., Noh, J. Y., Geoffroy, C. G., ... Sun, Y.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Hongying||Shen, Zheng||Wu, Chia-Shan||Ji, Pengfei||Noh, Ji Yeon||Geoffroy, C├ędric G||Kim, Sunja||Threadgill, David||Li, Jianrong||Zhou, Yu||Xiao, Xiaoqiu||Zheng, Hui||Sun, Yuxiang

publication date

  • January 2024