, Volume 233, Issue 14, pp 2841–2856 | Cite as

Lorcaserin and CP-809101 reduce motor impulsivity and reinstatement of food seeking behavior in male rats: Implications for understanding the anti-obesity property of 5-HT2C receptor agonists

  • Guy A. Higgins
  • Leo B. Silenieks
  • Everett B. Altherr
  • Cam MacMillan
  • Paul J. Fletcher
  • Wayne E. Pratt
Original Investigation



The 5-HT2C receptor agonist lorcaserin (Belviq®) has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity. Impulsivity is a contributory feature of some eating disorders.


Experiments investigated the effect of lorcaserin and the highly selective 5-HT2C agonist CP-809101 on measures of impulsivity and on reinstatement of food-seeking behaviour, a model of dietary relapse. The effect of both drugs on 22-h deprivation-induced feeding was also examined, as was the effect of prefeeding in each impulsivity test.


Lorcaserin (0.3–0.6 mg/kg SC) and CP-809101 (0.6–1 mg/kg SC) reduced premature responding in rats trained on the 5-CSRTT and improved accuracy in a Go-NoGo task by reducing false alarms. At equivalent doses, both drugs also reduced reinstatement for food-seeking behaviour. Neither drug altered impulsive choice measured in a delay-discounting task. Lorcaserin (1–3 mg/kg SC) and CP-809101 (3–6 mg/kg SC) reduced deprivation-induced feeding but only at higher doses.


These results suggest that in addition to previously reported effects on satiety and reward, altered impulse control may represent a contributory factor to the anti-obesity property of 5-HT2C receptor agonists. Lorcaserin may promote weight loss by improving adherence to dietary regimens in individuals otherwise prone to relapse and may be beneficial in cases where obesity is associated with eating disorders tied to impulsive traits, such as binge eating disorder.


Impulsivity 5-HT2C receptor Lorcaserin CP-809101 Binge eating disorder Rat Food reinstatement Prefeeding 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy A. Higgins
    • 1
    • 4
  • Leo B. Silenieks
    • 1
  • Everett B. Altherr
    • 3
  • Cam MacMillan
    • 2
  • Paul J. Fletcher
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Wayne E. Pratt
    • 3
  1. 1.InterVivo Solutions Inc.TorontoCanada
  2. 2.VivocoreTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

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