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Mol Cells. 2015 Dec;38(12):1023-8. doi: 10.14348/molcells.2015.0258. Epub 2015 Dec 1.

Peripheral Serotonin: a New Player in Systemic Energy Homeostasis.

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Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34141, Korea.
Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Catholic Kwandong University, Gangwon 25601, Korea.


Whole body energy balance is achieved through the coordinated regulation of energy intake and energy expenditure in various tissues including liver, muscle and adipose tissues. A positive energy imbalance by excessive energy intake or insufficient energy expenditure results in obesity and related metabolic diseases. Although there have been many obesity treatment trials aimed at the reduction of energy intake, these strategies have achieved only limited success because of their associated adverse effects. An ancient neurotransmitter, serotonin is among those traditional pharmacological targets for anti-obesity treatment because it exhibits strong anorectic effect in the brain. However, recent studies suggest the new functions of peripheral serotonin in energy homeostasis ranging from the endocrine regulation by gut-derived serotonin to the autocrine/paracrine regulation by adipocyte-derived serotonin. Here, we discuss the role of serotonin in the regulation of energy homeostasis and introduce peripheral serotonin as a possible target for anti-obesity treatment.


adipose tissue; energy homeostasis; obesity; serotonin; tryptophan hydroxylase

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