Antagonism of opioid systems (e.g., with naltrexone) has been explored as an anti-obesity strategy, and is particularly effective when co-administered with dual inhibitors of dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake (e.g., bupropion). Previously, we demonstrated that amylin enhances the food intake lowering and weight loss effects of neurohormonal (e.g., leptin, cholecystokinin, melanocortins) and small molecule (e.g., phentermine, sibutramine) agents. Here, we sought to characterize the interaction of amylin with naltrexone/bupropion on energy balance. Wild-type and amylin knockout mice were similarly responsive to the food intake lowering effects of either naltrexone (1mg/kg, subcutaneous) or bupropion (50mg/kg, subcutaneous) suggesting that they act independently of amylinergic systems and could interact additively when given in combination with amylin. To test this, diet-induced obese rats were treated (for 11 days) with vehicle, rat amylin (50 μg/kg/d, infused subcutaneously), naltrexone/bupropion (1 and 20mg/kg, respectively by twice daily subcutaneous injection) or their combination. We found that amylin+naltrexone/bupropion combination therapy exerted additive effects to reduce cumulative food intake, body weight and fat mass. In a separate study, the effects of amylin and naltrexone/bupropion administered at the same doses (for 14 days) were compared to a pair-fed group. Although the combination and pair-fed groups lost a similar amount of body weight, rats treated with the combination lost 68% more fat and better maintained their lean mass. These findings support the strategy of combined amylin agonism with opioid and catecholaminergic signaling systems for the treatment of obesity.
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