Appetite-Suppressing Cytokinin for Weight Loss and Obesity Treatment


Obesity has increased to pandemic levels and is associated with an increased risk of metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cardiovascular disease and cancer.  While the most effective means to reduce weight is healthy eating and exercise, adherence to these recommendations are a challenge, especially in individuals with a high body weight or BMI >30.  Alternatives to these solutions include anti-obesity therapeutics and supplements. Limited therapeutic options are approved by the FDA, such as Glp-1R agonists, but they are restricted to high BMI patients, are costly for insurers/individuals, have limited efficacy or have unpleasant side effects. Similarly, several supplements are available, but none are regarded as being efficacious unless combined with diet and exercise.  Consequently, an unmet need in effective weight loss management exists especially for those individuals in the BMI range of 25 – 32 who want to lose a few pounds to avoid the progression towards metabolic disease without altering their current lifestyle.



Researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered a plant-derived cytokinin (Cytokinin X or CX) that is effective for reducing weight, even when maintaining a “Western” diet. When administered in food or water, it resulted in significant and sustained weight loss in mouse models, driven by a reduced consumption of food. Changes in key signalling molecules were observed in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain controlling appetite.  Upon treatment with CX, the feeding-inducing neuropeptide Y (NPY) was reduced in hypothalamic neurons in culture, while the appetite-suppressing neuropeptide proopiomelanocortin (POMC) increased in the hypothalamus of mice.  Mechanistically, CX was found to block the palmitate-mediated increase in NPY levels.



  • Effective weight loss supplement (CD-1 mice on a high fat diet)
    • Weight reduction ~ 18%
    • Sustained weight loss over 4-5 weeks
    • Daily food intake decreased ~ 20%
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Approved for agricultural use by the EPA



  • Weight loss supplement or therapeutic



  • Provisional Patent Filed (July 2022)



Proof-of-principal studies have been conducted in mice. CX was demonstrated to be effective at reducing weight in CD-1 mice on a high fat diet.  Studies have been conducted to narrow the mechanism of action.  Future work will involve further elucidation of the mechanism of action, identification of the receptor, and determination of the dosage and delivery routes. Optimal plan would establish dose, toxicity profile, and efficacy in human subjects through a phase 1 clinical trial.







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