Inflammatory profile in subcutaneous and epicardial adipose tissue in men with and without diabetes

Heart Vessels. 2014 Jan;29(1):42-8. doi: 10.1007/s00380-012-0315-9. Epub 2013 Jan 8.


In recent years, evidence has emerged indicating that insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus type 2 are associated with inflammation of adipose tissue (AT). Interest has been focused on epicardial AT (EAT) because of its possible involvement with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to characterize adipocyte size and inflammatory profile in subcutaneous (SAT) and EAT among subjects with or without diabetes. Biopsies were collected from SAT and EAT in 34 men undergoing elective cardiac surgery. Weight, height, body mass index, waist circumference, as well as serum levels of glucose, insulin, lipids, adiponectin, and leptin were determined in all subjects. Adiponectin, MCP-1, and CD68 mRNA levels present within cells from AT biopsies were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Adipocyte size was determined by optic microscopy and morphometry. Regarding the experimental group as a whole, gene-expression levels within EAT were significantly lower for adiponectin and higher, albeit not significantly, for MCP-1, when compared with that of SAT. In addition, adipocytes in EAT were significantly smaller than those in SAT. Subjects with diabetes showed lower adiponectin gene-expression levels in both SAT and EAT when compared with subjects without diabetes. By contrast, MCP-1 and CD68 gene-expression levels were higher in both tissue types of diabetic subjects. Adipocyte size in EAT was significantly larger in diabetic subjects than in nondiabetic subjects. Our data revealed a predominantly inflammatory profile in both SAT and EAT in subjects with diabetes in comparison with those without diabetes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / immunology*
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / genetics
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Size
  • Chemokine CCL2 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pericardium / immunology*
  • Pericardium / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Subcutaneous Fat / immunology*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / pathology


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • CCL2 protein, human
  • CD68 antigen, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Genetic Markers
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • RNA, Messenger