Impact of high fat diet-induced obesity on the plasma levels of monoamine neurotransmitters in C57BL/6 Mice

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Obesity is one of the most serious health problems in developed countries. It negatively affects diverse aspects of human well-being. Of these, a relationship between obesity and depression is widely recognized but biomarkers for assessment of obesity-associated mood changes in animal obesity models are rarely known. Here we explored the link between obesity and the plasma levels of monoamine neurotransmitters involved in mood control using a sensitive UPLC/MSMS technique in high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity model in male C57BL/6 mice to explore the potential utility of plasma tests for obesity-associated mood change. HFD (60% of total calories, 8 weeks) induced significantly higher weight gains in body (+37.8%) and fat tissue (+306%) in male C57BL/6 mice. Bioanalysis of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in plasma at 8 weeks of HFD revealed that serotonin decreased significantly in the obese mice when compared to normal diet-fed mice (2.7 ± 0.6 vs 4.3 ± 2.0 ng/ml, N=8). Notably, a negative correlation was found between the levels of serotonin and body weight gains. Furthermore, principal component analysis (PCA) with the individual levels of neurotransmitters revealed that plasma levels of dopamine and serotonin could apparently differentiate the obese mice from lean ones. Our study demonstrated that blood plasma levels of neurotransmitters can be employed to evaluate the mood changes associated with obesity and more importantly, provided an important clue for understanding of the relationship between obesity and mood disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-480
Number of pages5
JournalBiomolecules and Therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013


  • Depression
  • Dopamine
  • High fat diet
  • Norepinephrine
  • Obesity
  • Serotonin


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