Horm Metab Res 2009; 41(5): 350-355
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1112135
Original Basic

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Primary Differences in Lipolysis between Human Omental and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Observed Using In Vitro Differentiated Adipocytes

A. Dicker 1 , G. Åström 1 , K. Wåhlén 1 , J. Hoffstedt 1 , E. Näslund 2 , M. Wirén 3 , M. Rydén 1 , P. Arner 1 , V. van Harmelen 1
  • 1Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyds Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 3Department of Surgery, Karolinska Institutet at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Further Information

Publication History

received 14.10.2008

accepted 27.11.2008

Publication Date:
09 February 2009 (online)


Catecholamine-induced lipolysis is elevated in omental as compared to subcutaneous adipocytes due to primary differences between the two cell types (i.e., they have different progenitor cells). Whether there is regional variation in atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP)-induced lipolysis is unknown. We studied whether β-adrenoceptor signaling to lipolysis and ANP-induced lipolysis are involved in the primary differences in lipolysis. In vitro experiments on differentiated preadipocytes from human subcutaneous and omental adipose tissue were performed. The cells were kept in culture for a relative long duration, so any influence of local environment and circulation in the various adipose tissue depots could be excluded. Using β1-, β2-, and β3-adenoceptor agonists, lipolysis was found to be significantly higher in omental as compared to subcutaneous differentiated preadipocytes. Forskolin and dibutyryl cAMP, which act at post-adrenoceptor levels, did not show any regional difference. There was no regional difference in ANP-induced lipolysis. Gene expression of β1- and β3-adrenoceptors was higher and β2-adrenoceptor expression was lower in the omental cells. Omental fat cells have an increased β-adrenoceptor-mediated lipolysis principally due to primary differences in the early event that couples β-adrenoceptor subtypes to G-proteins. ANP-induced lipolysis is not subject to primary regional variation.



P. Arner, MD 

Department of Medicine, M63 Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska University Hospital


141 86 Stockholm


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