The role of adipose tissue (AT) inflammation in AT function in humans is unclear. We tested whether AT macrophage (ATM) content, cytokine gene expression, and senescent cell burden (markers of AT inflammation) predict AT insulin resistance measured as the insulin concentration that suppresses lipolysis by 50% (IC50). We studied 86 volunteers with normal weight or obesity at baseline and a subgroup of 25 volunteers with obesity before and after weight loss. There was a strong positive relationship between IC50 and abdominal subcutaneous and femoral fat cell size (FCS). The positive, univariate relationships between IC50 and abdominal AT inflammatory markers CD68, CD14, CD206 ATM/100 adipocytes, senescent cells, IL-6, and TNF-a mRNA were not significant after adjustment for FCS. A 10% weight loss significantly reduced IC50; however, there was no reduction in adipose ATM content, senescent cells, or cytokine gene expression. Our study suggests that commonly used markers of AT inflammation are not causally linked to AT insulin resistance, whereas FCS is a strong predictor of AT insulin resistance with respect to lipolysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism