PURPOSE:To investigate the impact of cafeteria diet on ghrelin expression in rectal tissue and identify the morphologic cell type. METHODS:Twenty-four male Wistar rats were divided into four subgroups of six animals each: RC1 (rat chow 1) and CAF1 (cafeteria diet 1) for a period of 30 days; RC2 (rat chow 2) and CAF2 (cafeteria diet 2) for a period of 60 days. The animal and rectal weight, the number and the type of immunoreactive ghrelin cells were recorded and compared between the subgroups. The statistical study was established by ANOVA and Student's t test. RESULTS:There was no difference in the total of immunoreactive cells (p=0.685) between the subgroups nor between weight and presence or absence of ghrelin expression (p=0.993). All the immunoreactive cells identified were closed-type. CONCLUSION:The cafeteria diet did not have influence on the amount of immunoreactive rectal cells of ghrelin and only one type (closed-type) of immunoreactive cells was expressed in the rectum.