Chronic social stress, hedonism and vulnerability to obesity: Lessons from Rodents

Roberto Coccurello, Francesca R. D'Amato, Anna Moles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obesity is a current health pandemia. Determinants of this pathology are rather complex and include genetic, developmental and environmental factors only partially disclosed. Stress related neuroendocrine dysregulation and overconsumption of high palatable high caloric food and are likely to contribute to this modern health threats. Despite the evidence that psychosocial stress is one of the main sources of stress in humans and may play an important role in the development of the stress disorders, including obesity and metabolic syndrome, animal models focusing on the relationship between chronic stress and energy homeostasis are scattered and most of them encompasses physical rather than psychosocial stress. Aim of the present paper is to review rodent studies on the effect of psychosocial stress throughout life on body weight and food intake regulation. In the second part of the review special focus will be given on the mechanisms linking stress and the reward system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-550
Number of pages14
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • CART
  • Food intake
  • Obesity
  • Reward
  • Rodents
  • Social stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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