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Horm Metab Res. 2003 Mar;35(3):178-82.

Differences in plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 in subcutaneous versus omental adipose tissue in non-obese and obese subjects.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism C, Aarhus Kommehospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus C., Denmark.


Human adipose tissue can produce plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). It has been suggested that high levels of PAI-1 are of importance in enhanced cardiovascular disease observed among obese subjects, especially abdominally obese individuals. In the present study, we investigated the level of mRNA and production of PAI-1 in adipose tissue from two adipose tissue depots (omental vs. subcutaneous). Adipose tissue from both depots was obtained from obese (mean BMI, 46.9 kg/m 2) and non-obese (mean BMI, 23.9 kg/m 2) women. PAI-1 mRNA was measured both in fresh adipose tissue obtained immediately after surgery and after the adipose tissue (fragments) had been incubated for up to 72 h. In immediately frozen adipose tissue, PAI-1 mRNA expression was similar in omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue. No differences between obese and non-obese women were found. However, when adipose tissue fragments were cultured, PAI-1 mRNA and PAI-1 production were significantly higher in omental than in subcutaneous adipose tissue (p < 0.05). In the culture system, the production of PAI-1 in obese subjects was higher than in non-obese subjects in both subcutaneous (p < 0.05) and in omental adipose tissue (p = 0.19). In order to test whether these regional differences observed after incubation of the adipose tissue were due to differences in local accumulation of cytokines that may stimulate PAI-1 by a paracrine or autocrine manner, we investigated the expression of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) mRNA and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA and protein. No differences between the two fat depots were found. In conclusion, no differences in PAI-1 expression between omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue were observed in biopsies frozen immediately after removal, but after incubation of adipose tissue (which somehow stimulates PAI-1 production), higher levels of PAI-1 were found in omental adipose tissue than in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Finally, PAI-1 production in adipose tissue from obese women was higher in non-obese women after incubation for 72 h.

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