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Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 May 11;658(2-3):270-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.02.021. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Leptin potentiates the anti-obesity effects of rimonabant.

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Department of Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Eastern Point Road, Groton, CT 06340, USA.


We hypothesized that a combination of low doses of rimonabant and leptin would markedly reduce body weight through the modulation of neuronal activity within the hypothalamus. To this end, high fat diet-induced obese rats were randomized to receive either leptin (0.5mg/kg subcutaneously), rimonabant (3mg/kg), the combination of both, or vehicle, daily for a duration of 2 weeks. A subset of rats was pair-fed to the combination-treated animals and received either vehicle or leptin. At the end of the weight loss phase, leptin treatment was maintained for 7 days while rimonabant was discontinued to assess changes in body weight during the rebound phase. The combination of rimonabant and leptin resulted in a marked inhibition of food intake and a profound reduction in body weight that was greater than achieved with either leptin or rimonabant alone. Treatment with leptin during the rebound phase inhibited compensatory increases in body weight associated with restitution of ad libitum feeding in previously pair-fed rats. Moreover, leptin partially blunted the rebound in food intake and body weight associated with cessation of rimonabant therapy.To investigate the effect of the combination on neuronal firing in the rat hypothalamus, single unit activity was recorded from brain slices containing the ventromedial and arcuate nuclei. The combination of rimonabant and leptin synergistically increased and decreased neuronal firing in the ventromedial and arcuate nuclei, respectively. Overall, these data demonstrate profound anti-obesity effects of combining cannabinoid type 1 receptor antagonists and leptin.

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