Rimonabant prevents additional accumulation of visceral and subcutaneous fat during high-fat feeding in dogs.
ABSTRACT We investigated whether rimonabant, a type 1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist, reduces visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) in dogs maintained on a hypercaloric high-fat diet (HHFD). To determine whether energy expenditure contributed to body weight changes, we also calculated resting metabolic rate. Twenty male dogs received either rimonabant (1.25 mg.kg(-1).day(-1), orally; n = 11) or placebo (n = 9) for 16 wk, concomitant with a HHFD. VAT, SAT, and nonfat tissue were measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Resting metabolic rate was assessed by indirect calorimetry. By week 16 of treatment, rimonabant dogs lost 2.5% of their body weight (P = 0.029), whereas in placebo dogs body weight increased by 6.2% (P < 0.001). Rimonabant reduced food intake (P = 0.027), concomitant with a reduction of SAT by 19.5% (P < 0.001). In contrast with the VAT increase with placebo (P < 0.01), VAT did not change with rimonabant. Nonfat tissue remained unchanged in both groups. Body weight loss was not associated with either resting metabolic rate (r(2) = 0.24; P = 0.154) or food intake (r(2) = 0.24; P = 0.166). In conclusion, rimonabant reduced body weight together with a reduction in abdominal fat, mainly because of SAT loss. Body weight changes were not associated with either resting metabolic rate or food intake. The findings provide evidence of a peripheral effect of rimonabant to reduce adiposity and body weight, possibly through a direct effect on adipose tissue.