Mifepristone (RU 486), a blocker of type II glucocorticoid and progestin receptors, reverses a dietary form of obesity

Am J Physiol. 1992 Jun;262(6 Pt 2):R1106-10. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1992.262.6.R1106.


The effect of mifepristone (RU 486), a blocker of type II glucocorticoid receptors on the development of obesity that follows the feeding of a high-fat (HF) diet to Osborne-Mendel (OM) rats, has been investigated. OM rats fed a HF diet gained more weight and had larger retroperitoneal and parametrial fat pads than OM rats fed a high-carbohydrate low-fat (LF) diet. RU 486 (30 mg.kg-1.day-1) for 14 days completely reversed the body weight gain and the increase in fat pad size of OM rats fed a HF diet. RU 486 had no effect on body weight of OM rats fed a LF diet, but did reduce fat pad weights. The data suggest that type II glucocorticoid receptor activity modulates body fat deposition and is essential for the development of obesity, although a minor role for progestin receptor activity cannot be ruled out.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Dietary Fats*
  • Female
  • Mifepristone / therapeutic use*
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Mutant Strains
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Mifepristone
  • Corticosterone