Depression and abdominal obesity often co-occur, predominantly in women, and are associated with an increased risk for the development of glucose intolerance and subsequently type 2 diabetes. The underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We found that female, but not male, depression-prone serotonin transporter knockout (SERT(-/-)) rats had a strong increase (54%) in abdominal fat, whereas no increases in plasma concentrations of glucose and insulin were observed. Surprisingly, application of a high-fat, high-sucrose (HFHS)-choice diet, which results in increased abdominal fat deposition and increased plasma glucose levels in wild-type rats, did not result in elevated plasma glucose levels in female SERT(-/-) rats. Our results show that serotonin transporter deficiency affects abdominal fat deposition in a sex-dependent way, but protects against rises in glucose levels, and thereby potentially glucose intolerance. The increased abdominal fat formation could result from serotonin-mediated developmental changes and provides heuristic value for understanding the effects of the depression-associated serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism in humans.Obesity (2009) doi:10.1038/oby.2009.139.
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date2010

ID: 247957