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Eur J Pharmacol. 2015 Sep 15;763(Pt A):64-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.03.093. Epub 2015 May 19.

New targets to treat obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, USA.
Cornell University, USA.
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, USA; Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, USA. Electronic address:


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster ofassociated metabolic traits that collectively confer unsurpassed risk for development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes compared to any single CVD risk factor. Truncal obesity plays an exceptionally critical role among all metabolic traits of the MetS. Consequently, the prevalence of the MetS has steadily increased with the growing epidemic of obesity. Pharmacotherapy has been available for obesity for more than one decade, but with little success in improving the metabolic profiles. The serotonergic drugs and inhibitors of pancreatic lipases were among the few drugs that were initially approved to treat obesity. At the present time, only the pancreatic lipase inhibitor orlistat is approved for long-term treatment of obesity. New classes of anti-diabetic drugs, including glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists and Dipeptidyl-peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors, are currently being evaluated for their effects on obesity and metabolic traits. The genetic studies of obesity and metabolic syndrome have identified novel molecules acting on the hunger and satiety peptidergic signaling of the gut-hypothalamus axis or the melanocortin system of the brain and are promising targets for future drug development. The goal is to develop drugs that not only treat obesity, but also favorably impact its associated traits.


Diabetes; Drugs; Humans; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Targets; Therapeutics

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