Relationship between visceral fat accumulation and anti-lipolytic action of insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Endocr J. 2002 Aug;49(4):459-64. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.49.459.


Insulin resistance is closely related to developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Visceral fat accumulation is associated with insulin resistance, which affects the free fatty acid (FFA) metabolism. We investigated the interactions among visceral fat accumulation, FFA metabolism and insulin resistance in 20 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, including 11 obese and 9 non-obese subjects. Body fat distribution was estimated by measuring the areas of both subcutaneous and visceral fat mass on abdominal computed tomography at the umbilical level. Glucose infusion rate (GIR) and plasma FFA responses to insulin were determined as an index of insulin resistance and anti-lipolytic action, respectively, in a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp study. There was an inverse correlation between GIR and insulin-induced decrease in plasma FFA in all diabetic patients (r = -0.652, P < 0.01). Visceral fat mass area was well correlated with GIR (r = -0.583, P < 0.01) and insulin-induced decrease in plasma FFA (r = 0.724, P < 0.001), whereas subcutaneous fat mass area was not correlated either with GIR or plasma FFA decrease. These findings suggest that visceral fat accumulation results in increasing the resistance against the anti-lipolytic action of insulin, and that FFA metabolism is closely related with glucose utilization in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Viscera*


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin