The role of the nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum in feeding and obesity

Shani Gendelis, Dorrit Inbar, Yonatan M. Kupchik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Obesity is a growing global epidemic that stems from the increasing availability of highly-palatable foods and the consequent enhanced calorie consumption. Extensive research has shown that brain regions that are central to reward seeking modulate feeding and evidence linking obesity to pathology in such regions have recently started to accumulate. In this review we focus on the contribution of two major interconnected structures central to reward processing, the nucleus accumbens and the ventral pallidum, to obesity. We first review the known literature linking these structures to feeding behavior, then discuss recent advances connecting pathology in the nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum to obesity, and finally examine the similarities and differences between drug addiction and obesity in the context of these two structures. The understanding of how pathology in brain regions involved in reward seeking and consumption may drive obesity and how mechanistically similar obesity and addiction are, is only now starting to be revealed. We hope that future research will advance knowledge in the field and open new avenues to studying and treating obesity.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number110394
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Abisch-Frenkel Foundation for the Promotion of Life Sciences (grant number 17/HU9 ) and the Israel Science Foundation (grant number 1381/15 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Addiction
  • Feeding
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Obesity
  • Substance use disorder
  • Ventral pallidum


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