Chronic Application of MTII in a Rat Model of Obesity Results in Sustained Weight Loss

Authors

  • Dr. Bradford S. Hamilton,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma KG, Biberach an der Riss, Germany
      Department of Metabolic Disease, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma KG, 88397 Biberach an der Riss, Germany. E-mail: bradford.hamilton@bc.boehringer-ingelheim.com
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  • Henri N. Doods

    1. Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma KG, Biberach an der Riss, Germany
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Department of Metabolic Disease, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma KG, 88397 Biberach an der Riss, Germany. E-mail: bradford.hamilton@bc.boehringer-ingelheim.com

Abstract

Objective: To examine the effects of a cafeteria diet and a chronic treatment with melanocortin agonist (MTII) on mature weight-stable female rats.

Research Methods and Procedures: Ex-breeder Chbb:Thom rats (350 to 400 g) were divided into two groups: highly palatable food (HPF) and normal rat chow (RC). Both groups had ab libitum access to rat chow. The HPF group had access to chocolate bars, cookies, cheese, and nuts (∼20 g/d). After 21 days, the rats in each group were then divided into control and treated groups. Mini-pumps delivering saline or MTII (1 mg/kg per day) for minimally 28 days were implanted. Oxygen consumption was measured for 17 days in a second group of rats implanted with mini-pumps containing MTII (1 mg/kg per day) or saline.

Results: HPF rats ate less (<50%) rat chow than RC rats. After 20 days, the HPF group had reached a plateau and weighed significantly more (p < 0.005) than the RC group (411.7 ± 9.3 g; n = 17 vs. 365.1 ± 9.4 g; n = 16). HPF rats and RC rats receiving MTII reduced their pellet intake and body weight in the initial 2 weeks of treatment (day 14, RC-saline: −1.6 ± 1.8 g; RC-MTII, −22.5 ± 3.7 g; HPF-saline, −7.1 ± 1.7 g; HPF-MTII, −30.7 ± 4.8 g). Subsequently, pellet intake returned to pre-implantation values, although body weights remained reduced in both HPF and RC groups. Oxygen consumption was increased in rats treated with MTII.

Discussion: This suggests that MTII initially reduced body weight by limiting food intake; however, maintenance of weight is most likely due to increased energy expenditure under conditions of normal and highly palatable diets in mature animals.

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