Inhibition of brain carnitine palmitoyl-transferase-1 (CPT-1) is reported to decrease food intake and body weight in rats. Yet, the fatty acid synthase (FAS) inhibitor and CPT-1 stimulator C75 produces hypophagia and weight loss when given to rodents intracerebroventricularly (icv). Thus roles and relative contributions of altered brain CPT-1 activity and fatty acid oxidation in these phenomena remain unclarified. We administered compounds that target FAS or CPT-1 to mice by single icv bolus and examined acute and prolonged effects on feeding and body weight. C75 decreased food intake rapidly and potently at all doses (1-56 nmol) and dose dependently inhibited intake on day 1. Dose-dependent weight loss on day 1 persisted through 4 days of postinjection monitoring. The FAS inhibitor cerulenin produced dose-dependent (560 nmol) hypophagia for 1 day, weight loss for 2 days, and weight regain to vehicle control by day 3. The CPT-1 inhibitor etomoxir (32, 320 nmol) did not alter overall day 1 feeding. However, etomoxir attenuated the hypophagia produced by C75, indicating that CPT-1 stimulation is important for C75's effect. A novel compound, C89b, was characterized in vitro as a selective stimulator of CPT-1 that does not affect fatty acid synthesis. C89b (100, 320 nmol) decreased feeding in mice for 3 days and produced persistent weight loss for 6 days without producing conditioned taste aversion. Similarly, intraperitoneal administration decreased feeding and body weight without producing conditioned taste aversion. These results suggest a role for brain CPT-1 in the regulation of energy balance and implicate CPT-1 stimulation as a pharmacological approach to weight loss.