TRH not only functions as a thyrotropin releasing hormone but also acts as a neuropeptide in central circuits regulating food intake and energy expenditure. As one suggested mode of action, TRH expressed in the caudal brainstem influences vagal activity by activating TRH receptor 1 (TRH-R1). In order to evaluate the impact of a diminished medullary TRH signaling on ghrelin metabolism, we analyzed metabolic changes of TRH-R1 knockout (R1ko) mice in response to 24 hours of food deprivation. Because R1ko mice are hypothyroid, we also studied eu- and hypothyroid wild-type (wt) animals and R1ko mice rendered euthyroid by thyroid hormone treatment. Independent of their thyroidal state, R1ko mice displayed a higher body weight loss than wt animals and a delayed reduction in locomotor activity upon fasting. Ghrelin transcript levels in the stomach as well as total ghrelin levels in the circulation were equally high in fasted wt and R1ko mice. In contrast, only wt mice responded to fasting with a rise in ghrelin-O-acyltransferase mRNA expression and consequently an increase in serum levels of acylated ghrelin. Together, our data suggest that an up-regulation of medullary TRH expression and subsequently enhanced activation of TRH-R1 in the vagal system represents a critical step in the stimulation of ghrelin-O-acyltransferase expression upon starvation that in turn is important for adjusting the circulating levels of acylated ghrelin to the fasting condition.