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Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Oct;74(4):426-34.

Effects of weekly administration of pegylated recombinant human OB protein on appetite profile and energy metabolism in obese men.

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  • 1Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.



Results of leptin administration in mice, rats, and humans provide a rationale for therapeutic augmentation of circulating leptin (OB protein) concentrations in obese humans; this may reduce food intake, increase metabolic rate, and lower body mass.


We assessed the effects of weekly subcutaneous pegylated polyethylene glycol (PEG)-OB protein administration on appetite and energy metabolism in obese men.


We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 30 obese men [body mass index (in kg/m(2)): 34.2 +/- 3.6; age: 44.7 +/- 7 y]. Subjects received 20 mg PEG-OB protein/wk for 12 wk while limiting their energy intake to 2.1 MJ/d.


During treatment, appetite and hunger before breakfast decreased and remained lower in the PEG-OB-protein group, whereas they increased and remained higher in the placebo group (P < 0.0001). During treatment, hunger decreased in the PEG-OB-protein group (P < 0.05) and cognitive restraint increased in the placebo group (P < 0.0001). Neither appetite nor food intake changed significantly during the ad libitum evening meal. Under energy balance conditions in the respiration chamber, appetite at the end of treatment was not significantly different from baseline despite similar, significant reductions in 24-h energy intake, energy expenditure, sleeping metabolic rate, body mass, fat mass, and fat-free mass (P < 0.01 for all) in both groups.


Treatment with PEG-OB protein modified subjective appetite at a dosage that produced no changes in body composition, energy expenditure, or body mass loss relative to placebo treatment, suggesting that PEG-OB protein has central rather than peripheral biological activity in obese men.

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