The impact of chronic stress and eating concern on acylated ghrelin following acute psychological stress in healthy men

Christine Fahrngruber, Kalina Duszka, Jürgen König

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Stress, mood, and eating behavior play an important role in appetite and weight regulation. In particular, ghrelin, as the only known orexigenic hormone, has been suggested to be an influential mediator in food intake responses to stress. The exact role of ghrelin in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis is still unknown and further challenged by the psychological aspects of stress and eating behavior. This study aimed to assess the effect of chronic stress and subjective concern about eating on acute stress-induced changes in acylated ghrelin. In a 2-day study, sixteen healthy male participants were confronted with a stressful situation as well as a control situation. Additional measurements of heart rate, subjective hunger ratings, and subjective mood ratings were made to assess successful acute stress induction. The linear mixed model approach revealed a significant effect of acute stress on acylated ghrelin for a study-day*chronic-stress interaction (p < 0.001). Concern about eating did not affect acylated ghrelin levels after acute stress exposure. The significant interaction showed that lower chronic stress exposure was associated with a stronger acylated ghrelin response after acute stress exposure versus control condition. At the same time, participants with higher chronic stress exposure showed a blunted acylated ghrelin response after acute stress exposure compared to the control situation. Our findings indicate that chronic stress exposure can influence acylated ghrelin response after acute stress encounters, possibly affecting subsequent food intake and explaining the often diverse outcome in measurements of acute stress responses.

Seiten (von - bis)16-29
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 9 März 2021

ÖFOS 2012

  • 106001 Allgemeine Biologie