Brain Mechanisms Underlying the Effect of the Motilin Receptor Agonist Erythromycin on Hunger in Normal Weight Subjects


The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of erythromycin, a prokinetic agent, on hunger, and the brain mechanism lying behind it.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Basic Science
    • Masking: Single (Participant)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: September 2016


  • Drug: Erythromycin
  • Drug: Placebo
    • physiological saline

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Placebo Comparator: Placebo
    • intravenous infusion
  • Experimental: Erythromycin
    • intravenous infusion

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Functional brain images
    • Time Frame: 40 min after intervention
    • The functional brain images will be taken via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and be analysed via a software called SPM.

Secondary Measures

  • hunger scores
    • Time Frame: every 10 minutes since the scan starts
    • The hunger scores will be taken every 10 minutes since the scan starts via a 10 cm visual analogue scale.
  • gut hormones
    • Time Frame: every 10 min since the scan starts
    • Peripheral blood samples will be taken every 10 min since the scan starts until the endpoint of the study to measure gut hormones (motilin, ghrelin, CCK, PYY, GLP-1) by radioimmuno-assay.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Female only.
  • Age > 18 and < 60.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 19-25 kg/m2 (no weight change of more than 5 kg in the past three months).
  • Not known to have any chronic medical illness or illnesses affecting the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, or nervous systems, chronic pain or psychiatric disorder.
  • If female not known to be pregnant.
  • Not known to have any past upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Alcohol consumption > 7 drinks / week
  • Major depression and chronic health conditions except controlled hypertension

Gender Eligibility: Female

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 60 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven
  • Collaborator
    • KU Leuven
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Jan Tack, Principal Investigator, University of Leuven

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