Triptans, a generally prescribed class of migraine medicine, may additionally be helpful in treating weight problems, a brand new examine by scientists at UT Southwestern suggests. In research on overweight mice, a every day dose of a triptan led animals to eat much less meals and shed pounds over the course of a month, the staff reported within the Journal of Experimental Medication.
“We have proven that there’s actual potential to repurpose these medicine, that are already recognized to be secure, for urge for food suppression and weight reduction,” stated examine chief Chen Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Inside Medication and Neuroscience and an investigator within the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Mind Institute.
Weight problems impacts greater than 41% of all adults within the U.S. and will increase the danger of coronary heart illness, stroke, diabetes, and sure forms of most cancers. Most therapies for weight problems concentrate on consuming habits and bodily exercise.
Scientists have lengthy recognized that serotonin, a chemical messenger discovered all through the mind and physique, performs a key function in urge for food. Nonetheless, there are 15 totally different serotonin receptors — molecules that sense serotonin and sign for cells to alter their habits in response. Researchers have struggled to grasp the function of every serotonin receptor in urge for food, and former medicine — together with fen-phen and lorcaserin (Belviq) — that focused sure particular person receptors have been withdrawn from the market resulting from negative effects.
Triptans, that are used to deal with acute migraines and cluster complications, work by concentrating on a unique receptor — the serotonin 1B receptor (Htr1b) — that had not beforehand been nicely studied within the context of urge for food and weight reduction, stated Dr. Liu.
For the brand new examine, the researchers examined six prescription triptans in overweight mice that have been fed a high-fat weight loss plan for seven weeks. Mice fed two of those medicine ate about the identical quantity, however mice fed the opposite 4 ate much less. After 24 days, mice given a every day dose of the drug frovatriptan misplaced, on common, 3.6% of their physique weight, whereas mice not given a triptan gained a median of 5.1% of their physique weight. Dr. Liu and his colleagues noticed comparable outcomes once they implanted units into the animals that gave them a gradual dose of frovatriptan for twenty-four days.
“We discovered that these medicine, and one specifically, can decrease physique weight and enhance glucose metabolism in lower than a month, which is fairly spectacular,” stated Dr. Liu.
Since triptans are typically prescribed for short-term use throughout migraines, Dr. Liu suspects that sufferers wouldn’t have observed the longer-term impacts on urge for food and weight prior to now.
To find out precisely how frovatriptan impacts meals consumption and weight, the researchers engineered mice to lack both Htr1b or Htr2c, the serotonin receptor focused by fen-phen and lorcaserin. In mice with out Htr1b, frovatriptan now not may lower urge for food or trigger weight reduction, whereas reducing out Htr2c had no impact. This confirmed that the drug labored by concentrating on the serotonin 1B receptor.
“This discovering may very well be necessary for drug improvement,” stated Dr. Liu. “We not solely make clear the potential to repurpose current triptans but in addition introduced consideration to Htr1b as a candidate to deal with weight problems and regulate meals consumption.”
The staff went on to point out precisely which neurons within the mind have been most necessary for the function of Htr1b in mediating urge for food, homing in on a small group of cells inside the mind’s hypothalamus.
Different researchers who contributed to this examine embody Li Li, Steven C. Wyler, Luis A. León-Mercado, Baijie Xu, Swati, Xiameng Chen, Rong Wan, and Amanda G. Arnold of UT Southwestern; Youjin Oh and Jong-Woo Sohn of Korea Superior Institute of Science and Know-how; Lin Jia of UT Dallas; Guanlin Wang of the College of Oxford; Katherine Nautiyal of Dartmouth Faculty; and René Hen of Columbia College.
The examine was funded by the Nationwide Institutes of Well being (R01 DK114036, DK130892, F32DK116427, K01AA024809), the American Well being Affiliation (16SDG27260001), a UTSW Pilot and Feasibility Award, and a Grossman Endowment Award for Excellence in Diabetes Analysis.