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Diabetologia. 2001 Nov;44(11):2025-31.

Subcutaneous abdominal, but not femoral fat expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is related to plasma PAI-1 levels and insulin resistance and decreases after weight loss.

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University Medical Centre, Department of Angiology, Ljubljana, Slovenia.



Abdominal fat produces plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and could contribute to increased plasma PAI-1 values in human obesity associated with insulin resistance. Femoral fat, which is not associated with insulin resistance, is thought to be metabolically different from the abdominal fat. This study aimed to assess PAI-1 expression in these two fat territories in obese and lean subjects and to determine if concomitant changes of plasma and adipose tissue PAI-1 values occur after weight reduction.


In 24 obese and 16 lean subjects, PAI-1 expression in abdominal and femoral subcutaneous fat, plasma PAI-1, insulin, triglyceride concentrations and insulin resistance were determined at the start of the study and in obese subjects after a 3-month weight reduction programme as well.


PAI-1 mRNA content in the abdominal subcutaneous fat was higher in obese than in lean subjects and positively correlated with plasma PAI-1 values (p < 0.01) and markers of insulin resistance (p < 0.05). In 18 obese subjects, re-examined after successful dieting, PAI-1 mRNA content decreased in the abdominal subcutaneous fat along with plasma PAI-1. However, the absolute changes of these two variables were not associated. In contrast, PAI-1 mRNA content in the femoral subcutaneous fat did not differ between lean and obese subjects, was not associated with plasma PAI-1 values or with markers of insulin resistance, and did not change after weight loss.


Only the abdominal, but not the femoral subcutaneous fat PAI-1 expression is a potential contributor to increases in plasma PAI-1 in obesity. Both plasma and abdominal subcutaneous fat PAI-1 values decreased significantly after weight reduction, although their absolute changes were not associated.

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