The present study assessed the potential of the sodium glucose-linked transporter (SGLT)-2 inhibitor empagliflozin to decrease body weight when administered alone or in combination with the clinically effective weight-loss agents orlistat and sibutramine in obese rats fed a cafeteria diet. Female Wistar rats were exposed to a cafeteria diet to induce obesity. Empagliflozin was dosed once daily (10, 30, and 60 mg/kg) for 28 days. Combination studies were subsequently performed using a submaximal empagliflozin dose (10 mg/kg) with either sibutramine or orlistat. Body weight, food, and water intake were recorded daily. The effect of drug treatment on glucose tolerance, relevant plasma parameters, and carcass composition was determined. Empagliflozin dose-dependently reduced body weight, plasma leptin, and body fat though increased urinary glucose excretion. The combination of empagliflozin and orlistat significantly reduced body weight compared to animals treated with either drug alone, and significantly improved glucose tolerance, plasma insulin, and leptin compared to vehicle-treated controls. The effect of sibutramine to improve glycemic control in an oral glucose-tolerance test was also significantly increased, with empagliflozin and combination treatment leading to a reduction in carcass fat greater than that observed with either drug alone. These data demonstrate that empagliflozin reduces body weight in cafeteria-fed obese rats. In combination studies, empagliflozin further improved the body-weight or body-fat loss of animals in comparison to orlistat or sibutramine alone. Such studies may indicate improved strategies for the treatment of obese patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
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