Metabolism in adipose tissue in response to citalopram and trimipramine treatment--an in situ microdialysis study

J Psychiatr Res. 2008 Jun;42(7):578-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2007.06.003. Epub 2007 Aug 9.


The intake of antidepressants is often accompanied by weight gain. Antidepressants may influence lipid and carbohydrate metabolism that can result in metabolic changes and obesity. We investigated the effect of citalopram and trimipramine on interstitial glycerol, glucose and lactate concentration and blood flow in subcutaneous adipose tissue of obese subjects by means of the microdialysis technique. In addition, the effect of stimulation with norepinephrine on metabolic response was investigated. Each subject was compared to a control subject matched for BMI and age. Each group comprised 10 subjects. Circulating plasma triglyceride concentrations were higher in drug-treated groups. In subcutaneous adipose tissue, microdialysis experiments revealed a higher and prolonged glycerol release in the presence of norepinephrine, but not under basal conditions. In citalopram treated subjects, basal glucose and lactate concentrations were higher compared with controls or with the trimipramine treated group. Local administration of norepinephrine induced a decrease in glucose levels and an increase in lactate levels, but without significant differences between groups. Local adipose tissue blood flow decreased in control groups following norepinephrine application, but remained constant in the antidepressant groups. In conclusion, citalopram and trimipramine affected glucose and lipid metabolism in adipose tissue and resulted in enhanced release of glycerol and free fatty acids into the circulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Citalopram / adverse effects*
  • Citalopram / therapeutic use
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Female
  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Trimipramine / adverse effects*
  • Trimipramine / therapeutic use


  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Triglycerides
  • Citalopram
  • Trimipramine
  • Cholesterol
  • Glycerol