Omental 11{beta}-hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase 1 Correlates with Fat Cell Size Independently of Obesity

  • Michailidou Z
  • Jensen M
  • Dumesic D
 et al. 
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Objectives: In ideopathic obesity, there is evidence that enhanced cortisol regeneration within abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue may contribute to adiposity and metabolic disease. Whether the cortisol regenerating enzyme, 11{beta}-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11{beta}HSD1), or glucocorticoid receptor (GR{alpha}) levels are altered in other adipose depots remains uncertain. Our objective was to determine the association between 11{beta}HSD1 and GR{alpha} mRNA levels in four distinct adipose depots and measures of obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Research Methods and Procedures: Adipose tissue biopsies were collected from subcutaneous (abdominal, thigh, gluteal) and intra-abdominal (omental) adipose depots from 21 women. 11{beta}HSD1 and GR{alpha} mRNA levels were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Body composition, fat distribution, fat cell size, and blood lipid, glucose, and insulin levels were measured. Results: 11{beta}HSD1 mRNA was highest in abdominal subcutaneous (p < 0.001) and omental (p < 0.001) depots and was positively correlated with BMI and visceral adiposity in all depots. Omental 11{beta}HSD1 correlated with percent body fat (R = 0.462, p < 0.05), fat cell size (R = 0.72, p < 0.001), and plasma triglycerides (R = 0.46, p < 0.05). Conversely, GR{alpha} mRNA was highest in omental fat (p < 0.001). GR{alpha} mRNA was negatively correlated with BMI in the abdominal subcutaneous (R = -0.589, p < 0.05) and omental depots (R = -0.627, p < 0.05). Omental GR{alpha} mRNA was inversely associated with visceral adiposity (R = -0.507, p < 0.05), fat cell size (R = -0.52, p < 0.01), and triglycerides (R = -0.50, p < 0.05). Discussion: Obesity was associated with elevated 11{beta}HSD1 mRNA in all adipose compartments. GR{alpha} mRNA is reduced in the omental depot with obesity. The novel correlation of 11{beta}HSD1 with omental fat cell size, independent of obesity, suggests that intracellular cortisol regeneration is a strong predictor of hypertrophy in the omentum.

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  • Zoi Michailidou

  • Michael D Jensen

  • Daniel A Dumesic

  • Karen E Chapman

  • Jonathan R Seckl

  • Brian R Walker

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