Hypothalamic inflammation and increased oxidative stress are believed to be mechanisms that contribute to obesity. 4-Hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-N-oxyl (tempol), a free radical scavenger, has been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. We hypothesized that brain infusion of tempol would reduce oxidative stress, and thus would reduce food intake and body weight and improve body composition in rats with age-related obesity and known elevated oxidative stress. Furthermore, we predicted an associated increase in markers of leptin signalling, including the silent mating type information regulator 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1)/5=AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway. For this purpose, osmotic minipumps were placed in the intracerebroventricular region of young (3 months) and aged (23 months) male Fischer 344 x Brown Norway rats for the continuous infusion of tempol or vehicle for 2 weeks. Tempol significantly decreased (p < 0.01) nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase activity in the hypothalamus but failed to reduce food intake or weight gain and did not alter body composition. SIRT1 activity and Acetyl p53 were decreased and phosphorylation of AMPK was increased with age, but they were unchanged with tempol. Basal phosphorylation of STAT3 was unchanged with age or tempol. These results indicate that tempol decreases oxidative stress but fails to alter feeding behaviour, body weight, or body composition. Moreover, tempol does not modulate the SIRT1/AMPK/p53 pathway and does not change leptin signalling. Thus, a reduction in hypothalamic oxidative stress is not sufficient to reverse age-related obesity.