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Int J Obes (Lond). 2012 Dec;36(12):1537-44. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2011.271. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

Body fat and body weight reduction following hypothalamic deep brain stimulation in monkeys: an intraventricular approach.

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  • 1Unite INSERM, U836-UJFG, GIN, France.



The authors proposed an intraventricular 'floating' electrode inserted in the third ventricle (V3) adjacent to the ventromedian hypothalamus (VMH) in a freely moving Macaca fascicularis to modulate food intake (FI), body fat (BF), body weight (BW) and body mass index (BMI), as a potential treatment of obesity.


Five adult Macaca fascicularis monkeys were implanted stereotactically in the V3 contiguous to the VMH with one deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrode. The study was divided in two phases: (a) acute 24 h-fasting trials: different electrical stimulation parameters were applied to a fasting primate to determine the best combination in reducing FI; and (b) chronic 8-week stimulation trials: three cycles of intraventricular-VMH DBS lasting 8-10 weeks were performed at 130 Hz, 80 Hz (most effective frequency reducing FI) and 30 Hz, respectively. BMI, BW, BF content, skinfolds and hormones were measured during baseline and at the end of each session of stimulation.


Acute 24 h-fasting trials: there was a decrease in FI in all subjects at 80 Hz, (11-19%, mean 15%). Chronic 8-week stimulation trials: a significant decrease in BW and BMI was observed in three out of four monkeys at 80 Hz (mean 8 ± 4.4%). Subcutaneous skinfolds were reduced in all four subjects at 80 Hz and slightly increased at 130 Hz. The sham monkey remained stable. No significant adverse effects were recorded.


The stimulation of the VMH region through an intraventricular approach might acutely modulate FI and induce a sustained decrease in BW and fat mass in normal non-human primate.

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