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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 Jun;17(6):1135-43. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.652. Epub 2009 Feb 12.

Peripheral and central administration of xenin and neurotensin suppress food intake in rodents.

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  • 1Department of Investigative Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College, London, UK.


Xenin is a 25-amino acid peptide highly homologous to neurotensin. Xenin and neurotensin are reported to have similar biological effects. Both reduce food intake when administered centrally to fasted rats. We aimed to clarify and compare the effects of these peptides on food intake and behavior. We confirm that intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of xenin or neurotensin reduces food intake in fasted rats, and demonstrate that both reduce food intake in satiated rats during the dark phase. Xenin reduced food intake more potently than neurotensin following ICV administration. ICV injection of either peptide in the dark phase increased resting behavior. Xenin and neurotensin stimulated the release of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) from ex vivo hypothalamic explants, and administration of alpha-helical CRH attenuated their effects on food intake. Intraperitoneal (IP) administration of xenin or neurotensin acutely reduced food intake in fasted mice and ad libitum fed mice in the dark phase. However, chronic continuous or twice daily peripheral administration of xenin or neurotensin to mice had no significant effect on daily food intake or body weight. These studies confirm that ICV xenin or neurotensin can acutely reduce food intake and demonstrate that peripheral administration of xenin and neurotensin also reduces food intake. This may be partly mediated by changes in hypothalamic CRH release. The lack of chronic effects on body weight observed in our experiments suggests that xenin and neurotensin are unlikely to be useful as obesity therapies.

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