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Obes Facts. 2009;2(1):36-9. doi: 10.1159/000193461. Epub 2009 Feb 3.

Compounds used for 'injection lipolysis' destroy adipocytes and other cells found in adipose tissue.

Author information

1
Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin - Campus Buch and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A widely applied technique to reduce subcutaneous fat pad size involves subcutaneous injection of a phosphatidylcholine preparation ('injection lipolysis'). As the mode of action is mostly unknown, we planned to study cellular effects of the particular drug used in Germany (Lipostabil(R)).

METHODS:

Human preadipocytes, adipocytes, vascular and skeletal muscle cells as well as renal epithelial cells were incubated in the compound, morphological changes were described, and cell vitality was measured.

RESULTS:

A strong cytolytic effect of the compound was signified by lipid release and acridine orange staining of dying adipocyte nuclei. When the undiluted compound was used, more than 90% of cell death occurred after 90 s in preadipocytes, after 6 min in vascular smooth muscle cells, skeletal myotubes and renal epithelial cells, and after 15 min in adipocytes. Dilution slowed down cytolysis, but still >50% of the cells disappeared during 30 min incubation. Neither osmotic effects nor differences in medium acidity were responsible for cell death.

CONCLUSION:

Injection lipolysis with phosphatidylcholine as the major injected compound reduces subcutaneous fat pad size through cell and tissue destruction. Beside the lack of a clear risk-benefit analysis, applying this technique represents off-label drug use and application of a drug by a contraindicated route.

PMID:
20054202
PMCID:
PMC6444605
DOI:
10.1159/000193461
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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