The receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) modulates energy metabolism. However, how RANKL regulates energy homeostasis is still not clear. This study aims to investigate the central mechanisms by which central administration of RANKL inhibits food intake and causes weight loss in mice. We carried out a systematic and in-depth analysis of the neuronal pathways by which RANKL mediates catabolic effects. After intracerebroventricle (i.c.v.) injection of RANKL, the expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA in the Arc was significantly decreased, while the CART mRNA expression dramatically increased in the Arc and DMH. However, the agouti-related protein (AgRP) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA had no significant changes compared with control groups. Together, the results suggest that central administration of RANKL reduces food intake and causes weight loss via modulating the hypothalamic NPY/CART pathways.