Modified Peptide YY Molecule Attenuates the Activity of NPY/AgRP Neurons and Reduces Food Intake in Male Mice

Endocrinology. 2019 Nov 1;160(11):2737-2747. doi: 10.1210/en.2019-00100.


To study the effects of an analog of the gut-produced hormone peptide YY (PYY3-36), which has increased selectivity for the Y2 receptor; specifically, to record its effects on food intake and on hypothalamic neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) neuron activity. NNC0165-1273, a modified form of the peptide hormone PYY3-36 with potent selectivity at Y2 receptor (>5000-fold over Y1, 1250-fold over Y4, and 650-fold over Y5 receptor), was tested in vivo and in vitro in mouse models. NNC0165-1273 has fivefold lower relative affinity for Y2 compared with PYY3-36, but >250-, 192-, and 400-fold higher selectivity, respectively, for the Y1, Y4, and Y5 receptors. NNC0165-1273 produced a reduction in nighttime feeding at a dose at which PYY3-36 loses efficacy. The normal behavioral satiety sequence observed suggests that NNC0165-1273 is not nauseating and, instead, reduces food intake by producing early satiety. Additionally, NNC0165-1273 blocked ghrelin-induced cFos expression in NPY/AgRP neurons. In vitro electrophysiological recordings showed that, opposite to ghrelin, NNC0165-1273 hyperpolarized NPY/AgRP neurons and reduced action potential frequency. Administration of NNC0165-1273 via subcutaneous osmotic minipump caused a dose-dependent decrease in body weight and fat mass in an obese mouse model. Finally, NNC0165-1273 attenuated the feeding response when NPY/AgRP neurons were activated using ghrelin or more selectively with designer receptors. NNC0165-1273 is nonnauseating and stimulates a satiety response through, at least in part, a direct action on hypothalamic NPY/AgRP neurons. Modification of PYY3-36 to produce compounds with increased affinity to Y2 receptors may be useful as antiobesity therapies in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / cytology
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / drug effects*
  • Eating / drug effects*
  • Ghrelin
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry*
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Peptide YY / chemistry*
  • Peptide YY / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / agonists*
  • Satiety Response / drug effects*


  • Ghrelin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y
  • neuropeptide Y2 receptor
  • Peptide YY
  • peptide YY (3-36)