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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jun 1;304(11):E1167-74. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00023.2013. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Estradiol effects on subcutaneous adipose tissue lipolysis in premenopausal women are adipose tissue depot specific and treatment dependent.

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Human Performance Laboratory, College of Health and Human Performance and Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.


Estrogen has direct effects within adipose tissue and has been implicated in regional adiposity; however, the influence of estrogen on in vivo lipolysis is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of local 17β-estradiol (E(2)) on subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) lipolysis in premenopausal women. In vivo lipolysis (dialysate glycerol) was measured in 17 women (age 27.4 ± 2.0 yr, BMI 29.7 ± 0.5 kg/m(2)) via microdialysis of abdominal (AB) and gluteal (GL) SAT. Glycerol was measured at baseline and during acute interventions to increase lipolysis including local perfusion of isoproterenol (ISO, β-adrenergic agonist, 1.0 μmol/l), phentolamine (PHEN, α-adrenergic antagonist, 0.1 mmol/l), and submaximal exercise (60% Vo(2peak), 30 min); all with and without coperfusion of E(2) (500 nmol/l). E(2) coperfusion blunted the lipolytic response to ISO in AB (E(2) 196 ± 31%, control 258 ± 26%, P = 0.003) but not in GL (E(2) 113 ± 14%, control 111 ± 12%, P = 0.43) adipose tissue. At rest, perfusion of PHEN with ISO did not change dialysate glycerol. Submaximal exercise during ISO + PHEN increased dialysate glycerol in the AB (56 ± 9%) and GL (62 ± 12%) regions. Probes perfused with E(2) during exercise and ISO + PHEN had an increased lipolytic response in AB (90 ± 9%, P = 0.007) but a lower response in GL (35 ± 7%, P = 0.05) SAT compared with no-E(2) conditions. E(2) effects on lipolysis are region specific and may work through both adrenergic and adrenergic-independent mechanisms to potentiate and/or blunt SAT lipolysis in premenopausal women.


estrogen; exercise; lipolysis; microdialysis; regional adiposity

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