Compound D159687, a phosphodiesterase 4D inhibitor, induces weight and fat mass loss in aged mice without changing lean mass, physical and cognitive function

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Dec 2;506(4):1059-1064. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.10.180. Epub 2018 Nov 6.


Aims: Therapies that recapitulate the health benefits of caloric restriction in older adults are needed. Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors demonstrate such promise. We examined their effects on body weight and composition, physical and cognitive function in aged mice using Compound D159687 (D159687).

Methods: Nineteen 18-months old mice were randomized to receive either control (DMSO) or D159687 for seven weeks. We assessed food intake, body weight and body composition over time and performed once the following tests: treadmill, inverted grip strength, rotarod, spontaneous Y maze tests and skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis.

Results: Four of the D159687 treated mice died in the first week. Necropsy suggests acute lung injury. D159687 treated mice weighed more than control mice at baseline. After controlling for baseline weight, D159687 treated mice lost 4.2 grams(g) more weight than control mice, mainly from fat mass loss (p value < 0.001). Muscle mass was unchanged between the two mice groups. D159587 mice ate significantly more food than the control mice. We found no difference between the two groups in the results of treadmill, rotarod and spontaneous Y maze tests and in mitochondrial biogenesis.

Conclusion: Compound D159687 induced weight loss, predominantly fat mass loss and increased food intake in aged mice. The caloric restriction and lean mass preservation potential of PDE4D inhibitors deserve further verification. Findings may have major therapeutic implications when translated to the older adult population. Although physical and cognitive parameters were unchanged in this study, further studies would be needed to verify these results. The high death rate in the D159687 treated mice may have been due to the technical aspects of oral gavage.

Keywords: AMPK; Aging; Calorie restriction; Obesity; Phosphodiesterase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / drug effects
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4 / metabolism*
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organelle Biogenesis
  • Phenylurea Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Phosphodiesterase 4 Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Thinness / pathology*
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • D159687
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Phosphodiesterase 4 Inhibitors
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4