Author(s): RodriguezCuenca S, Monjo M, Proenza AM, Roca P
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Sex hormones play an important role in adipose tissue metabolism by activating specific receptors that alter several steps of the lipolytic and lipogenic signal cascade in depot- and sex-dependent manners. However, studies focusing on steroid receptor status in adipose tissue are scarce. In the present study, we analyzed steroid content [testosterone (T), 17beta-estradiol (17beta-E2), and progesterone (P4)] and steroid receptor mRNA levels in different rat adipose tissue depots. As expected, T levels were higher in males than in females (P = 0.031), whereas the reverse trend was observed for P4 (P < 0.001). It is noteworthy that 17beta-E2 adipose tissue levels were higher in inguinal than in the rest of adipose tissues for both sexes, where no sex differences in 17beta-E2 tissue levels were noted (P = 0.010 for retroperitoneal, P = 0.005 for gonadal, P = 0.018 for mesenteric). Regarding steroid receptor levels, androgen (AR) and estrogen receptor (ER)alpha and ERbeta densities were more clearly dependent on adipose depot location than on sex, with visceral depots showing overall higher mRNA densities than their subcutaneous counterparts. Besides, expression of ERalpha predominated over ERbeta expression, and progesterone receptor (PR-B form and PR-A+B form) mRNAs were identically expressed regardless of anatomic depot and sex. In vitro studies in 3T3-L1 cells showed that 17beta-E2 increased ERalpha (P = 0.001) and AR expression (P = 0.001), indicating that estrogen can alter estrogenic and androgenic signaling in adipose tissue. The results highlighted in this study demonstrate important depot-dependent differences in the sensitivity of adipose tissues to sex hormones between visceral and subcutaneous depots that could be related to metabolic situations observed in response to sex hormones.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism