Ghrelin in mental health, sleep, memory
Ghrelin acts as a neuropeptide. It participates in sleep–wake regulation. After systemic ghrelin treatment nonREM sleep is promoted in male humans and mice. This effect is influenced by gender, time of administration and depression. Ghrelin does not modulate sleep in healthy women and during the early morning in male subjects. In depressed women REM sleep is diminished after ghrelin. In elderly men and depressed men sleep promotion by ghrelin was preserved. In rats after central ghrelin feeding and wakefulness increased. The nocturnal secretion pattern of cortisol, GH, LH, FSH and hypothalamo–pituitary–thyroid hormones are influenced by ghrelin. Furthermore ghrelin appears to be related to memory and to be involved in the pathophysiology of CNS disorders, particularly depression.