OBJECTIVES: Numerous genetic loci have been associated with measures of central fat accumulation, such as waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index (WHRadjBMI). However the mechanisms by which genetic variations influence obesity remain largely elusive. Lipolysis is a key process for regulation of lipid storage in adipocytes, thus is implicated in obesity and its metabolic complications. Here, genetic variants at 36 WHRadjBMI-associated loci were examined for their influence on abdominal subcutaneous adipocyte lipolysis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Fasting subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies were collected from 789 volunteers (587 women and 202 men, body mass index (BMI) range 17.7-62.3 kg/m2). We quantified subcutaneous adipocyte lipolysis, both spontaneous and stimulated by the catecholamine isoprenaline or a cyclic AMP analogue. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and genotyping of SNPs associated with WHRadjBMI conducted. The effects on adipocyte lipolysis measures were assessed for SNPs individually and combined in a SNP score. RESULTS: The WHRadjBMI-associated loci CMIP, PLXND1, VEGFA and ZNRF3-KREMEN1 demonstrated nominal associations with spontaneous and/or stimulated lipolysis. Candidate genes in these loci have been reported to influence NFκB-signaling, fat cell size and Wnt signalling, all of which may influence lipolysis. SIGNIFICANCE: This report provides evidence for specific WHRadjBMI-associated loci as candidates to modulate adipocyte lipolysis. Additionally, our data suggests that genetically increased central fat accumulation is unlikely to be a major cause of altered lipolysis in abdominal adipocytes.