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Nat Med. 2002 Aug;8(8):825-30. Epub 2002 Jul 15.

Antidepressant, anxiolytic and anorectic effects of a melanin-concentrating hormone-1 receptor antagonist.

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Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation, Paramus, New Jersey, USA.

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  • Nat Med 2002 Sep;8(9):1039.


Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) is an orexigenic hypothalamic neuropeptide, which plays an important role in the complex regulation of energy balance and body weight. Here we show that SNAP-7941, a selective, high-affinity MCH1 receptor (MCH1-R) antagonist, inhibited food intake stimulated by central administration of MCH, reduced consumption of palatable food, and, after chronic administration to rats with diet-induced obesity, resulted in a marked, sustained decrease in body weight. In addition, after mapping the binding sites for [(3)H]SNAP-7941 in rat brain, we evaluated its effects in a series of behavioral models. SNAP-7941 produced effects similar to clinically used antidepressants and anxiolytics in three animal models of depression/anxiety: the rat forced-swim test, rat social interaction and guinea pig maternal-separation vocalization tests. Given these observations, an MCH1-R antagonist may be useful not only in the management of obesity but also as a treatment for depression and/or anxiety.

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