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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 6;8(6):e65317. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065317. Print 2013.

Effects of AgRP inhibition on energy balance and metabolism in rodent models.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York, United States of America.


Activation of brain melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4-R) by α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) or inhibition by agouti-related protein (AgRP) regulates food intake and energy expenditure and can modulate neuroendocrine responses to changes in energy balance. To examine the effects of AgRP inhibition on energy balance, a small molecule, non-peptide compound, TTP2515, developed by TransTech Pharma, Inc., was studied in vitro and in rodent models in vivo. TTP2515 prevented AgRP from antagonizing α-MSH-induced increases in cAMP in HEK 293 cells overexpressing the human MC4-R. When administered to rats by oral gavage TTP2515 blocked icv AgRP-induced increases in food intake, weight gain and adiposity and suppression of T4 levels. In both diet-induced obese (DIO) and leptin-deficient mice, TTP2515 decreased food intake, weight gain, adiposity and respiratory quotient. TTP2515 potently suppressed food intake and weight gain in lean mice immediately after initiation of a high fat diet (HFD) but had no effect on these parameters in lean chow-fed mice. However, when tested in AgRP KO mice, TTP2515 also suppressed food intake and weight gain during HFD feeding. In several studies TTP2515 increased T4 but not T3 levels, however this was also observed in AgRP KO mice. TTP2515 also attenuated refeeding and weight gain after fasting, an effect not evident in AgRP KO mice when administered at moderate doses. This study shows that TTP2515 exerts many effects consistent with AgRP inhibition however experiments in AgRP KO mice indicate some off-target effects of this drug. TTP2515 was particularly effective during fasting and in mice with leptin deficiency, conditions in which AgRP is elevated, as well as during acute and chronic HFD feeding. Thus the usefulness of this drug in treating obesity deserves further exploration, to define the AgRP dependent and independent mechanisms by which TTP2515 exerts its effects on energy balance.

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