Behavioral Neurobiology of Eating Disorders

Volume 6 of the series Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences pp 81-93


Dopamine-Based Reward Circuitry Responsivity, Genetics, and Overeating

  • Eric SticeAffiliated withOregon Research Institute Email author 
  • , Sonja YokumAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , David ZaldAffiliated withVanderbilt University
  • , Alain DagherAffiliated withMcGill University

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Data suggest that low levels of dopamine D2 receptors and attenuated responsivity of dopamine-target regions to food intake is associated with increased eating and elevated weight. There is also growing (although mixed) evidence that genotypes that appear to lead to reduced dopamine signaling (e.g., DRD2, DRD4, and DAT) and certain appetite-related hormones and peptides (e.g., ghrelin, orexin A, leptin) moderate the relation between dopamine signaling, overeating, and obesity. This chapter reviews findings from studies that have investigated the relation between dopamine functioning and food intake and how certain genotypes and appetite-related hormones and peptides affect this relation.


Dopamine Food reward Genetics Overeating Obesity