Fenfluramine and fluoxetine spare protein consumption while suppressing caloric intake by rats

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Science  16 Dec 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4322, pp. 1178-1180
DOI: 10.1126/science.929195


The effects of fenfluramine and other sanorectic drugs on the consumption of both protein and total calories by rats given simultaneous access to two isocaloric diets containing 5 or 45 percent casein were examined. Anorectic doses of fenfluramine failed to decrease protein intake but increased the proportion of total dietary calories represented by protein. In contrast, anorectic doses of d-amphetamine decreased protein and calorie consumption proportionately. Subanorectic doses of fenfluramine also increased the proportion of caloric intake represented by protein among animals given prior treatment with the serotonin precursor tryptophan. Fluoxetine, a drug that blocks reuptake of serotonin, similarly spared protein consumption while reducing caloric intake. These observations indicate that two distinct brain mechanisms, sensitive to different drugs, underlie the elective consumption of protein and calories.