Serotonin (5-HT) and 5-HT2A receptor agonists suppress lipolysis in primary rat adipose cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Serotonin (5-HT) is a biogenic monoamine that functions both as a neurotransmitter and a circulating hormone. Recently, the metabolic effects of 5-HT have gained interest and peripheral 5-HT has been proposed to influence lipid metabolism in various ways. Here, we investigated the metabolic effects of 5-HT in isolated, primary rat adipose cells. Incubation with 5-HT suppressed β-adrenergically stimulated glycerol release and decreased phosphorylation of protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent substrates, hormone sensitive lipase (Ser563) and perilipin (Ser522). The inhibitory effect of 5-HT on lipolysis enhanced the anti-lipolytic effect of insulin, but sustained in the presence of phosphodiesterase inhibitors, OPC3911 and isobuthylmethylxanthine (IBMX). The relative expression of 5-HT1A, -2B and -4 receptor class family were significantly higher in adipose tissue compared to adipose cells, whereas 5-HT1D, -2A and -7 were highly expressed in isolated adipose cells. Similar to 5-HT, 5-HT2 receptor agonists reduced lipolysis while 5-HT1 receptor agonists rather decreased non-stimulated and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Together, these data provide evidence of a direct effect of 5-HT on adipose cells, where 5-HT suppresses lipolysis and glucose uptake, which could contribute to altered systemic lipid- and glucose metabolism.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Medical Biotechnology


  • 5-HT, Adipose cells, Lipid metabolism, Lipolysis, Serotonin
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 27
Publication categoryResearch