The differential effect of food intake and beta-adrenergic stimulation on adipose-derived hormones and cytokines in man

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Jun;84(6):2126-33. doi: 10.1210/jcem.84.6.5747.


We determined whether the physiologic changes that accompany food intake or sympathetic activation by beta-adrenergic stimulation result in alterations in the secretion of leptin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha), or interleukin-6 (IL-6) by serially sampling sc abdominal adipose interstitial fluid by open-flow microperfusion before and after a standardized meal and in response to isoproterenol (1 micromol/L) delivered locally. Post cibum IL-6 rose up to 5-fold, whereas leptin and TNF alpha secretion did not change; TNF alpha, but not IL-6, correlated positively with indices of lipolysis. Isoproterenol-induced lipolysis was accompanied by a transient 40% reduction in leptin and a parallel 85% elevation of TNF alpha concentration, whereas IL-6 levels did not change; again, TNF alpha correlated positively with lipolysis. These data show that secretion of some, but not all, metabolically relevant polypeptides by adipose tissue is modulated within a short time frame by food or stress stimuli, suggesting a role of these peptides in local autocrine/paracrine or distant endocrine effects on fat metabolism. TNF alpha's close correlation with lipolysis suggests that this cytokine participates in a local positive autocrine feedback loop, potentiating lipolysis and inhibiting insulin's antilipolytic actions. The regulations of adipose leptin, TNF alpha, and IL-6 secretion seem distinct from each other and different in the fed vs. fasting state.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Hormones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Isoproterenol / pharmacology
  • Leptin
  • Lipolysis / drug effects
  • Male
  • Postprandial Period
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Cytokines
  • Hormones
  • Interleukin-6
  • Leptin
  • Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Isoproterenol