© 2018, Published by NRC Research Press. Recent evidence indicate that melanotan II (MTII) reduces body mass independently of caloric reduction. Because MTII induces a transient hypophagia, caloric reduction is still considered a primary mechanism for MTII-mediated body mass loss. To examine the contribution of caloric reduction to long-term body mass loss in response to MTII, we centrally infused MTII or vehicle in ad libitum fed (MTII and Control) animals in comparison with a group of animals that were pair-fed (PF) to the MTII group. Food intake and body mass were recorded daily, and body composition was assessed biweekly. The present study demonstrates that central MTII-mediated body mass loss is only partially mediated by caloric restriction, and the long-term body mass loss is independent of the initial hypophagia. More importantly, central MTII administration induced a rapid but sustained fat mass loss, independently of caloric reduction. MTII-treated animals preserved their lean/fat mass ratio throughout the study, whereas PF animals underwent a transient reduction of lean/fat mass ratio that was only normalized when food intake returned to Control level. In summary, it can be concluded that activation of the central melanocortin system in rats persistently reduces body and fat mass independently of caloric reduction.