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AIMS: To investigate the anorectic effect of L-arginine (L-Arg) in rodents. METHODS: We investigated the effects of L-Arg on food intake, and the role of the anorectic gut hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY), the G-protein-coupled receptor family C group 6 member A (GPRC6A) and the vagus nerve in mediating these effects in rodents. RESULTS: Oral gavage of L-Arg reduced food intake in rodents, and chronically reduced cumulative food intake in diet-induced obese mice. Lack of the GPRC6A in mice and subdiaphragmatic vagal deafferentation in rats did not influence these anorectic effects. L-Arg stimulated GLP-1 and PYY release in vitro and in vivo. Pharmacological blockade of GLP-1 and PYY receptors did not influence the anorectic effect of L-Arg. L-Arg-mediated PYY release modulated net ion transport across the gut mucosa. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) and intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of L-Arg suppressed food intake in rats. CONCLUSIONS: L-Arg reduced food intake and stimulated gut hormone release in rodents. The anorectic effect of L-Arg is unlikely to be mediated by GLP-1 and PYY, does not require GPRC6A signalling and is not mediated via the vagus. I.c.v. and i.p. administration of L-Arg suppressed food intake in rats, suggesting that L-Arg may act on the brain to influence food intake. Further work is required to determine the mechanisms by which L-Arg suppresses food intake and its utility in the treatment of obesity.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Obes Metab

Publication Date





508 - 518


GLP-1, animal pharmacology, body composition, energy regulation, obesity therapy, Animals, Appetite Depressants, Arginine, Cells, Cultured, Dietary Supplements, Energy Intake, Energy Metabolism, Gastrointestinal Agents, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, In Vitro Techniques, Injections, Intraperitoneal, Injections, Intraventricular, Intestinal Mucosa, Male, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Obesity, Peptide YY, Random Allocation, Rats, Wistar, Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled, Weight Loss