Biochemical mechanisms responsible for the attenuation of diabetic and obese conditions in ob/ob mice treated with dopaminergic agonists

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Apr;23(4):425-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0800893.


Objective: We previously reported that a two week treatment with SKF 38393 (SKF, a dopamine D1 receptor agonist), plus bromocriptine (BC, a dopamine D2 receptor agonist) acted synergistically to normalize hyperphagia, body fat, hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidaemia in ob/ob mice. The present study further investigates the biochemical mechanisms triggered by this drug treatment.

Design: Six week old female C57BL/6J ob/ob mice were divided into three groups and treated for two weeks with either BC and SKF, vehicle (control), or vehicle and pair fed to match the drug-treated group's daily food intake.

Results: BC/SKF treatment reduced food consumption by 55%, and treated mice weighed less than either pair fed or ad libitum fed controls after two weeks of treatment. Moreover, oxygen consumption was increased by 2.4-fold and the respiratory quotient (RQ) decreased from 1.23 to 0.96 (indicating a reduction in de novo lipogenesis) by drug treatment relative to ad libitum fed controls, but these parameters were unaffected by pair feeding control mice. The treatment also reduced blood glucose and free fatty acids (FFA) relative to pair fed and ad libitum fed controls. BC/SKF treatment (but not pair feeding) concurrently reduced lipolysis, lipogenic enzyme activities and hepatic gluconeogenic enzyme activities. Treatment also increased hepatic concentrations of glycogen and xylulose-5-phosphate (X-5-P), a key stimulator of glycolysis. Finally, BC/SKF, but not pair feeding, reduced the circulating concentrations of thyroxine and corticosterone, two hormones known to increase lipolysis, lipogenesis and hyperglycaemia. Drug treatment also increased serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate concentrations, an inhibitor of body fat store accumulation.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that BC/SKF treatment not only normalizes hyperphagia of ob/ob mice, but also redirects several metabolic and endocrine activities, independent of its effects on feeding to improve the obese-diabetic syndrome in ob/ob mice.

MeSH terms

  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine / administration & dosage
  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine / therapeutic use
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Bromocriptine / administration & dosage
  • Bromocriptine / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Gluconeogenesis / drug effects
  • Lipids / biosynthesis
  • Lipolysis / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity*
  • Weight Loss


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Lipids
  • Bromocriptine
  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine