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BMC Physiol. 2013 Feb 8;13:5. doi: 10.1186/1472-6793-13-5.

Quinine controls body weight gain without affecting food intake in male C57BL6 mice.

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Nestlé Research Center, Vers-chez-les-Blanc, Lausanne 1000, Switzerland.



Quinine is a natural molecule commonly used as a flavouring agent in tonic water. Diet supplementation with quinine leads to decreased body weight and food intake in rats. Quinine is an in vitro inhibitor of Trpm5, a cation channel expressed in taste bud cells, the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. The objective of this work is to determine the effect of diet supplementation with quinine on body weight and body composition in male mice, to investigate its mechanism of action, and whether the effect is mediated through Trpm5.


Compared with mice consuming AIN, a regular balanced diet, mice consuming AIN diet supplemented with 0.1% quinine gained less weight (2.89 ± 0.30 g vs 5.39 ± 0.50 g) and less fat mass (2.22 ± 0.26 g vs 4.33 ± 0.43 g) after 13 weeks of diet, and had lower blood glucose and plasma triglycerides. There was no difference in food intake between the mice consuming quinine supplemented diet and those consuming control diet. Trpm5 knockout mice gained less fat mass than wild-type mice. There was a trend for a diet-genotype interaction for body weight and body weight gain, with the effect of quinine less pronounced in the Trpm5 KO than in the WT background. Faecal weight, energy and lipid contents were higher in quinine fed mice compared to regular AIN fed mice and in Trpm5 KO mice compared to wild type mice.


Quinine contributes to weight control in male C57BL6 mice without affecting food intake. A partial contribution of Trpm5 to quinine dependent body weight control is suggested.

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