Linaclotide is a synthetic peptide approved by the FDA for the treatment of constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation. Linaclotide binds and activates the transmembrane receptor guanylate cyclase 2C (Gucy2c). Uroguanylin (UGN) is a 16 amino acid peptide that is mainly secreted by enterochromaffin cells in the duodenum and proximal small intestine. UGN is the endogenous ligand of Gucy2c and decreases body weight in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice via the activation of the thermogenic program in brown adipose tissue. Therefore, we wanted to evaluate whether oral linaclotide could also improve DIO mice metabolic phenotype. In this study, we have demonstrated that DIO mice orally treated with linaclotide exhibited a significant reduction of body weight without modifying food intake. Linaclotide exerts its actions through the central nervous system, and more specifically, via Gucy2c receptors located in the mediobasal hypothalamus, leading to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system to trigger the thermogenic activity of brown fat stimulating energy expenditure. These findings indicate for first time that, in addition to its effects at intestinal level to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic constipation, linaclotide also exerts a beneficial effect in whole body metabolism.

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