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Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2017 Jun;32(2):257-264. doi: 10.3803/EnM.2017.32.2.257. Epub 2017 May 29.

Intermuscular Adipose Tissue Content and Intramyocellular Lipid Fatty Acid Saturation Are Associated with Glucose Homeostasis in Middle-Aged and Older Adults.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
2
Department of Chemistry, Purdue University College of Science, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
3
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University College of Engineering, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
4
Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences, West Lafayette, IN, USA. campbellw@purdue.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Insulin resistance is associated with the higher content of intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) and the saturation of intramyocellular lipid (IMCL), but a paucity of data exist in humans. This study examined associations among IMAT content, IMCL saturation, and fasting glucose concentration in middle-aged and older adults with overweight or obesity.

METHODS:

Seventy-five subjects (26 males, 49 females) were recruited and thigh muscle and IMAT were assessed using magnetic resonance imaging. Vastus lateralis tissue was acquired from a subset of nine subjects and IMCL content and saturation were assessed using nonlinear dual complex microscopy.

RESULTS:

The characteristics of the 75 subjects were as follows: age 59±11 years, body mass index 30±5 kg/m², fasting glucose concentration 5.2±0.5 mmol/L, fasting insulin concentration 12.2±7.3 μU/mL, fasting homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) 2.9±2.0 (mean±SD). IMAT to muscle tissue (MT) volume ratio was positively associated with the saturated fatty acid to unsaturated fatty acid ratio in IMCL. IMAT:MT was positively associated with fasting glucose concentration and HOMA-IR. IMCL saturation was positively associated with fasting glucose concentration while muscle cell area, IMCL area, and % IMCL in muscle cell were not associated with fasting glucose concentration.

CONCLUSION:

These results indicate that higher intermuscular fat content and IMCL saturation may impact fasting glucose concentration in middle-aged and older adults with overweight or obesity. The centralization of adipose tissue in the appendicular region of the body may promote insulin resistance.

KEYWORDS:

Glucose homeostasis; Intermuscular adipose tissue; Intramyocellular lipid; Middle-aged and older adults; Overweight and obesity

Conflict of interest statement

Wayne W. Campbell served on the National Dairy Council Whey Protein Advisory Panel at the time this study was accomplished.

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