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Mol Interv. 2005 Oct;5(5):282-91.

Serotonin 5-ht2c receptor agonists: potential for the treatment of obesity.

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Metabolic Diseases Research, HPW 21-2.03, Discovery Biology P.O. Box 5400, Princeton, NJ 08543-5400, USA.


Obesity continues to be a burgeoning health problem worldwide. Before their removal from the market, fenfluramine and the more active enantiomer dexfenfluramine were considered to be among the most effective of weight loss agents. Much of the weight loss produced by fenfluramine was attributed to the direct activation of serotonin 5-HT(2C) receptors in the central nervous system via the desmethyl-metabolite of fenfluramine, norfenfluramine. Norfenfluramine, however, is non-selective, activating additional serotonin receptors, such as 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2B), which likely mediated the heart valve hypertrophy seen in many patients. Development of highly selective 5-HT(2C) agonists may recapitulate the clinical anti-obesity properties observed with fenfluramine while avoiding the significant cardiovascular and pulmonary side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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