Dopamine receptor D1- and D2-agonists do not spark brown adipose tissue thermogenesis in mice

Francesca Maria Raffaelli, Julia Resch, Rebecca Oelkrug, K. Alexander Iwen, Jens Mittag*

*Corresponding author for this work


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis is considered a potential target for treatment of obesity and diabetes. In vitro data suggest dopamine receptor signaling as a promising approach; however, the biological relevance of dopamine receptors in the direct activation of BAT thermogenesis in vivo remains unclear. We investigated BAT thermogenesis in vivo in mice using peripheral administration of D1-agonist SKF38393 or D2-agonist Sumanirole, infrared thermography, and in-depth molecular analyses of potential target tissues; and ex vivo in BAT explants to identify direct effects on key thermogenic markers. Acute in vivo treatment with the D1- or D2-agonist caused a short spike or brief decrease in BAT temperature, respectively. However, repeated daily administration did not induce lasting effects on BAT thermogenesis. Likewise, neither agonist directly affected Ucp1 or Dio2 mRNA expression in BAT explants. Taken together, the investigated agonists do not seem to exert lasting and physiologically relevant effects on BAT thermogenesis after peripheral administration, demonstrating that D1- and D2-receptors in iBAT are unlikely to constitute targets for obesity treatment via BAT activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20203
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12.2020


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