Dopamine Action on Metabolism in Relation to Genotype

  • End date
    Mar 17, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University Hospital Tuebingen
Updated on 17 June 2022
body mass index


Obesity is a widespread disease with increasing prevalence and associated with serious secondary complications. So far, the origin of the disease, regardless of an existing positive energy balance, is not fully understood. In addition to environmental factors, the genetic background plays an important role in the pathogenesis of obesity. Of common genetic polymorphisms, variants in the fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) locus have the highest effect size on body weight. Animal and first clinical studies indicate that FTO variants interact with dopamine signaling in the brain, thus influencing the risk of overweight. In fact, preliminary results indicate that enhancing dopamine signaling with the dopamine agonist bromocriptine, depending on the FTO genotype, either induces weight loss or has a neutral effect on body weight.

The planned clinical trial serves to develop a genotype-specific and thus individualized therapy approach for obesity. The influence of dopamine agonist therapy on weight loss as a function of the FTO (rs8050136) genotype is to be tested.

Here, the greatest weight loss is expected to occur in subjects carrying the homozygous risk-allele (AA).

So far, there are only a few established conservative therapy forms of obesity, so that bariatric interventions with an increasing rate are necessary to achieve weight loss and thus a reduction in overall morbidity and mortality. Among the approved drug therapies for obesity, bromocriptine is commonly used. In addition, some interventions require injections. An early, conservative individualized, genotype-specific treatment with little side-effects would enable simple treatment of obesity.

Study design: 150 obese (BMI > 30) subjects (50 / study center) will be enrolled in the study. The subjects will be stratified according to their FTO genotype (rs8050136). Subjects will be randomized into placebo or bromocriptine treatment group. Treatment will last for 18 weeks and a follow-up will be performed 30 weeks after baseline.

Condition Obesity
Treatment Placebo, bromocriptine
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03525002
SponsorUniversity Hospital Tuebingen
Last Modified on17 June 2022


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Inclusion Criteria

Body mass index (BMI) between >30 kg/m²
Understand and voluntarily sign an informed consent document prior to any study related assessments/procedures
Females of childbearing potential (FCBP) must agree to utilize a reliable form of contraception simultaneously or practice complete abstinence from heterosexual contact while participating in the study
Males must agree to use a latex condom during any heterosexual contact while participating in the study and to refrain from donating semen or sperm while participating in this study

Exclusion Criteria

Women during pregnancy and lactation
History of hypersensitivity to the investigational medicinal product or to any drug with similar chemical structure or to any excipient present in the pharmaceutical form of the investigational medicinal products
Participation in other clinical trials or observation period of competing trials up to 30 days prior to this study
Diabetes mellitus
Treatment with Methyldopa, levodopa, dopamine agonists, metoclopramid, domperidon, glycerol nitrate, griseofulvin, azol-antimycotic drugs, macrolide-antibiotics, octreotide, orlistat, tamoxifen, liraglutide
Any relevant cardiovascular disease, e.g. myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome, unstable angina pectoris, Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), heart failure (NYHA III-IV), stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Acute or chronic viral hepatitis or liver cirrhosis
Impaired renal function, defined as estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) ≤ 60 ml/min (MDRD formula) as determined during screening
Medical history of cancer and/or treatment for cancer within the last 5 years
Any other clinically significant major organ system disease at screening such as relevant gastrointestinal, neurologic, psychiatric, endocrine (i.e. pancreatic), hematologic, malignant, infection or other major systemic diseases making implementation of the protocol or interpretation of the study results difficult
Presence of any contraindication for the conduct of an MRI investigation, such as cardiac pacemakers, ferromagnetic haemostatic clips in the central nervous system, metallic splinters in the eye, ferromagnetic or electronically operated active devices like automatic cardioverter defibrillators, cochlear implants, insulin pumps and nerve stimulators, prosthetic heart valves etc
therapy refractary hypertension
peripheral arterial disease
Parkinson´s disease
Known current presence or history of one of the following psychiatric diseases: depression, mania, anxiety and panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, addiction
pituitary disease
treatment with bromocriptine during 12 month before entering the trial
gastric or intestinal ulcer
Persons with limited temperature sensation and / or elevated sensitivity to warming of the body
Persons with a hearing disorder or a increased sensitivity for loud noises
Refusal to get informed of unexpected detected pathological findings
Any other clinical condition that would jeopardize subjects' safety while participating in
this clinical trial
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