Obesity is associated with high serotonin 4 receptor availability in the brain reward circuitry

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

View graph of relations

The neurobiology underlying obesity is not fully understood. The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) is established as a satiety-generating signal, but its rewarding role in feeding is less well elucidated. From animal experiments there is now evidence that the 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4R) is involved in food intake, and that pharmacological or genetic manipulation of the receptor in reward-related brain areas alters food intake.Here, we used positron emission tomography in humans to examine the association between cerebral 5-HT4Rs and common obesity.We found in humans a strong positive association between body mass index and the 5-HT4R density bilaterally in the two reward ‘hot spots’ nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum, and additionally in the left hippocampal region and orbitofrontal cortex.These findings suggest that the 5-HT4R is critically involved in reward circuits that regulate people's food intake. They also suggest that pharmacological stimulation of the cerebral 5-HT4R may reduce reward-related overeating in humans.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)884-888
StatePublished - 2012
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 26


  • PET, Serotonin 4 receptor, Neuroimaging, Obesity, Reward
Download as:
Download as PDF
Select render style:
Download as HTML
Select render style:
Download as Word
Select render style:

ID: 9625384