Objectives: To study the association between subcutaneous fat cell lipogenesis and components of the metabolic syndrome (systemic insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia and hypertension).
Design and setting: A university hospital-based cross-sectional study of 383 subjects (303 women and 80 men) with a wide range of BMI (18-53 kg m(-2)).
Results: Strong negative correlations between in vitro fat cell lipogenesis (basal and after maximal insulin stimulation) and HOMA-IR were present in both genders (r = -0.42 to -0.56, P < 0.0001 and r = -0.37 to -0.44, P < 0.001, for women and men respectively). Insulin sensitivity measured using the insulin tolerance test (K(ITT)) was also correlated with adipocyte lipogenesis (r = 0.47-0.57, P < 0.0001, women, r = 0.52-0.70, P < 0.001, men). Plasma apolipoprotein B/AI-ratio negatively associated with fat cell lipogenesis in women (r = -0.41 to-0.51, P < 0.0001,) and men (r = -0.49 to -0.55, P < 0.0001). The negative relationship of fat cell lipogenesis with blood pressure was significant in women (r = -0.27 to -0.28, P < 0.0002,) but not in men (P = 0.08-0.09). All correlations remained significant after adjusting for differences in fat cell volume, body mass index, waist- to hip- ratio or age (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: Subcutaneous adipocyte lipogenesis is negatively associated with systemic insulin resistance, plasma apolipoprotein B/AI-ratio and blood pressure supporting the view that impaired fat cell function per se may contribute to the development of the metabolic syndrome.