Wynne K et al. (2005) Subcutaneous oxyntomodulin reduces body weight in overweight and obese subjects. Diabetes 54: 2390–2395

In this recent double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, oxyntomodulin showed evidence of efficacy for the treatment of obesity and might represent a much-needed novel therapy for the world-wide growing obesity pandemic.

In total, 29 volunteers with a stable BMI of between 25 and 40 kg/m2 took part, of whom 16 were randomized to receive oxyntomodulin treatment and 13 to receive saline as the control group. Patients were eligible if they had no abnormal eating behavior. Injections of oxyntomodulin or saline were self-administered subcutaneously three times daily, 30 min after a meal, for 4 weeks. Participants were asked to maintain their normal diet and levels of physical exercise. Participants' weight and energy intake were assessed, and blood samples were taken to measure adipose hormones, at the start and end of the study.

A significant weight loss of 2.3 ± 0.4 kg was experienced by those receiving oxyntomodulin, compared with 0.5 ± 0.5 kg in the control group. The treatment group experienced significantly reduced plasma leptin levels and significantly increased adiponectin levels from baseline, compared with controls.

Wynne et al. suggest that oxyntomodulin causes weight loss partly because of a reduction in adipose tissue, which is shown by the decrease in leptin and increase in adiponectin plasma levels. The authors note that the weight loss experienced was consistent throughout the 4-week study, and conclude that the long-term efficacy of oxyntomodulin should be evaluated in future clinical studies consisting of larger numbers of participants.