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Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Feb;32(2):283-91. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

Hypertrophy and hyperplasia of abdominal adipose tissues in women.

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Molecular Endocrinology and Oncology Research Center, Laval University Medical Research Center and Laval University, Québec, PQ, Canada.



To examine the expression of selected transcription factors involved in adipogenesis and genes related to lipid metabolism in abdominal subcutaneous and omental fat tissue.


We obtained subcutaneous and omental adipose tissue samples from 40 women undergoing abdominal hysterectomies (age: 47+/-5 years; BMI 27.9+/-5.3 kg/m(2)). We measured isolated adipocyte size and metabolism, and detailed measures of body fat accumulation and body fat distribution were obtained (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography, respectively).


Adipocyte size of both subcutaneous and omental fat were increased with higher body fat mass values, with similar regression slopes in each compartment. In contrast, with higher body fat mass values, fat accumulation was progressively higher in the subcutaneous than in the visceral fat compartment, suggesting hyperplasia in the subcutaneous fat compartment. Messenger RNA levels of CEBPalpha, PPARgamma2, SREBP1c and genes related to lipid metabolism (LPL, FABP4, DGAT1, DGAT2, PLIN and HSL) were significantly higher in subcutaneous than in omental fat tissue (P< or =0.001 for all). Only subcutaneous expression of these genes tracked with obesity levels as reflected by significant positive associations between subcutaneous fat CEBPalpha, SREBP1c and DGAT2 expression and total body fat mass (r=0.37, r=0.41, r=0.57, respectively, P< or =0,05), fat percentage (r=0.40, r=0.39, r=058, respectively, P< or =0,05) and subcutaneous adipose tissue area (r=0.36, r=0.38, r=0.58, respectively, P< or =0,05). Omental adipose tissue expression levels of these genes were not significantly related to adiposity measures.


These results show that in obese women, hyperplasia is predominant in the subcutaneous fat depot, whereas fat cell hypertrophy is observed both in the omental and subcutaneous compartments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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