Effects of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine on appetite, food intake and emotional processing in healthy volunteers

J.M. Thomas, C.T. Dourish, J.W. Tomlinson, Z. Hassan-Smith, S. Higgs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


RATIONALE: The treatment of obesity is an increasing global health priority, yet few effective drug treatments are currently available. The discovery of novel anti-obesity therapies could be assisted by the validation of experimental (translational) medicine models in healthy volunteers that assess efficacy and safety at an early stage of drug development.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) in an experimental medicine model assessing both appetite and mood.

METHODS: Using a between-subjects, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 24 male and 24 female participants were randomly assigned to either placebo, 15- or 30-mg mCPP treatment groups. Lunch was eaten from a Universal Eating Monitor (UEM) that measured eating rate, and the participants completed the P1vital® Oxford Emotional Test Battery (ETB) and a series of appetite and mood ratings.

RESULTS: mCPP reduced appetite and, in women, enhanced measures of satiation. The drug also enhanced memory for emotional material in the word recall and recognition memory tasks of the ETB.

CONCLUSIONS: The results provide new insight into the effects of mCPP on appetite, satiety and memory in humans. In addition, our data provide an illustration of the value of measuring changes in appetite and mood in healthy volunteers to determine the potential efficacy and safety of novel anti-obesity drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2449-2459
Number of pages11
Issue number12
Early online date10 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-013-3409-x


  • 5-HT2C
  • affect
  • appetite
  • drug dose-response relationship
  • double-blind method
  • eating
  • emotions
  • receptor activity modifying protein 1
  • hHydrocortisone
  • mental recall
  • piperazines
  • serotonin
  • recognition
  • saliva
  • satiation
  • serotonin 5-HT2 receptor Agonists
  • sex characteristics


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