Melanocortin agonists stimulate lipolysis in human adipose tissue explants but not in adipocytes Obesity

Cathrine Laustrup Møller, Steen B. Pedersen, Bjørn Richelsen, Kilian W. Conde-Frieboes, Kirsten Raun, Kevin L. Grove, Birgitte Schjellerup Wulff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: The central melanocortin system is broadly involved in the regulation of mammalian nutrient utilization. However, the function of melanocortin receptors (MCRs) expressed directly in peripheral metabolic tissues is still unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate the lipolytic capacity of MC1-5R in differentiated adipocytes versus intact white adipose tissue. Results: Non-selective MCR agonist α-MSH, MC5R-selective agonist PG-901 and MC4R-selective agonist LY2112688 significantly stimulated lipolysis in intact white adipose tissue, whereas stimulation of MCRs in differentiated adipocytes failed to do so. The lipolytic response of MC5R was decreased in intact human white adipose tissue when co-treating with β-adrenergic antagonist propranolol, suggesting that the effect may be dependent on neuronal innervation via noradrenalin release. Conclusion: When developing an anti-obesity therapeutic drug with selective MC4R/MC5R properties, effects on lipolysis in white adipose tissue may be physiologically relevant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number559
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 12 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycerol
  • Lipolysis
  • MC4R
  • MC5R
  • Melanocortin receptor
  • NEFA
  • Propranolol
  • White adipose tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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