Beneficial effects of subcutaneous fat transplantation on metabolism

Cell Metab. 2008 May;7(5):410-20. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.04.004.


Subcutaneous (SC) and visceral (VIS) obesity are associated with different risks of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. To elucidate whether these differences are due to anatomic location or intrinsic differences in adipose depots, we characterized mice after transplantation of SC or VIS fat from donor mice into either SC or VIS regions of recipient mice. The group with SC fat transplanted into the VIS cavity exhibited decreased body weight, total fat mass, and glucose and insulin levels. These mice also exhibited improved insulin sensitivity during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps with increased whole-body glucose uptake, glucose uptake into endogenous fat, and insulin suppression of hepatic glucose production. These effects were observed to a lesser extent with SC fat transplanted to the SC area, whereas VIS fat transplanted to the VIS area was without effect. These data suggest that SC fat is intrinsically different from VIS fat and produces substances that can act systemically to improve glucose metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / transplantation*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Subcutaneous Fat / transplantation*


  • RNA, Messenger