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Science. 2002 Jul 26;297(5581):609-11.

Activation of central melanocortin pathways by fenfluramine.

Author information

1
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Abstract

D-fenfluramine (d-FEN) was once widely prescribed and was among the most effective weight loss drugs, but was withdrawn from clinical use because of reports of cardiac complications in a subset of patients. Discerning the neurobiology underlying the anorexic action of d-FEN may facilitate the development of new drugs to prevent and treat obesity. Through a combination of functional neuroanatomy, feeding, and electrophysiology studies in rodents, we show that d-FEN-induced anorexia requires activation of central nervous system melanocortin pathways. These results provide a mechanistic explanation of d-FEN's anorexic actions and indicate that drugs targeting these downstream melanocortin pathways may prove to be effective and more selective anti-obesity treatments.

PMID:
12142539
DOI:
10.1126/science.1072327
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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