The ciliopathies Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Alström syndrome are genetically inherited pleiotropic disorders with hyperphagia and obesity as primary clinical features. Methionine aminopeptidase 2 inhibitors (MetAP2i) have been shown in preclinical and clinical studies to reduce food intake, body weight, and adiposity. Here, we investigated the effects of MetAP2i administration in a mouse model of ciliopathy produced by conditional deletion of the Thm1 gene in adulthood. Thm1 conditional knockout (cko) mice showed decreased hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin expression as well as hyperphagia, obesity, metabolic disease, and hepatic steatosis. In obese Thm1-cko mice, 2-week administration of MetAP2i reduced daily food intake and reduced body weight 17.1% from baseline (vs. 5% reduction for vehicle). This was accompanied by decreased levels of blood glucose, insulin, and leptin. Further, MetAP2i reduced gonadal adipose depots and adipocyte size and improved liver morphology. This is the first report to our knowledge of MetAP2i reducing hyperphagia and body weight and ameliorating metabolic indices in a mouse model of ciliopathy. These results support further investigation of MetAP2 inhibition as a potential therapeutic strategy for ciliary-mediated forms of obesity.
Tana S. Pottorf, Micaella P. Fagan, Bryan F. Burkey, David J. Cho, James E. Vath, Pamela V. Tran