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      Gluteofemoral body fat as a determinant of metabolic health

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      International Journal of Obesity

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          Body fat distribution is an important metabolic and cardiovascular risk factor, because the proportion of abdominal to gluteofemoral body fat correlates with obesity-associated diseases and mortality. Here, we review the evidence and possible mechanisms that support a specific protective role of gluteofemoral body fat. Population studies show that an increased gluteofemoral fat mass is independently associated with a protective lipid and glucose profile, as well as a decrease in cardiovascular and metabolic risk. Studies of adipose tissue physiology in vitro and in vivo confirm distinct properties of the gluteofemoral fat depot with regards to lipolysis and fatty acid uptake: in day-to-day metabolism it appears to be more passive than the abdominal depot and it exerts its protective properties by long-term fatty acid storage. Further, a beneficial adipokine profile is associated with gluteofemoral fat. Leptin and adiponectin levels are positively associated with gluteofemoral fat while the level of inflammatory cytokines is negatively associated. Finally, loss of gluteofemoral fat, as observed in Cushing's syndrome and lipodystrophy is associated with an increased metabolic and cardiovascular risk. This underlines gluteofemoral fat's role as a determinant of health by the long-term entrapment of excess fatty acids, thus protecting from the adverse effects associated with ectopic fat deposition.

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          The mechanisms that balance food intake and energy expenditure determine who will be obese and who will be lean. One of the molecules that regulates energy balance in the mouse is the obese (ob) gene. Mutation of ob results in profound obesity and type II diabetes as part of a syndrome that resembles morbid obesity in humans. The ob gene product may function as part of a signalling pathway from adipose tissue that acts to regulate the size of the body fat depot.
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            We isolated the human adipose-specific and most abundant gene transcript, apM1 (Maeda, K., et al., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 221, 286-289, 1996). The apM1 gene product was a kind of soluble matrix protein, which we named adiponectin. To quantitate the plasma adiponectin concentration, we have produced monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies for human adiponectin and developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) system. Adiponectin was abundantly present in the plasma of healthy volunteers in the range from 1.9 to 17.0 mg/ml. Plasma concentrations of adiponectin in obese subjects were significantly lower than those in non-obese subjects, although adiponectin is secreted only from adipose tissue. The ELISA system developed in this study will be useful for elucidating the physiological and pathophysiological role of adiponectin in humans. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
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              Adipose expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha: direct role in obesity-linked insulin resistance

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                International Journal of Obesity
                Int J Obes
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0307-0565
                1476-5497
                June 2010
                January 12 2010
                June 2010
                : 34
                : 6
                : 949-959
                Article
                10.1038/ijo.2009.286
                20065965
                © 2010

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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