Energy homeostasis is maintained by balancing energy intake and energy expenditure. In addition to the central nervous system, several hormones play a key role in energy homeostasis in the whole body. In particular, serotonin is regarded as one of the key regulators of energy homeostasis. Serotonin is unique in that it is able to act in both the brain as a neurotransmitter and the peripheral tissue as a gastrointestinal hormone. In the brain, serotonin is thought of as a pharmacological target for anti-obesity treatments because it greatly inhibits meal size and body weight gain. In contrast, serotonin in the periphery has not been targeted as a strategy for anti-obesity treatment, even though almost all of the serotonin produced in the body is produced in the peripheral tissue. Recently, the peripheral serotonergic signal has been shown to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism through autocrine and paracrine signals in energy homeostasis-related tissues, including the pancreatic β cell, liver, white adipose tissue, brown adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle. Thus, it is possible that the serotonergic system in the peripheral tissue is a new therapeutic target for metabolic disease, including obesity and diabetes. Here, we summarize the role of peripheral serotonin in the regulation of energy homeostasis.
Part of the book: Serotonin