Introduction: Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) accumulate in adipose tissue and some are described to possess endocrine disrupting capacities. Therefore, it is important to evaluate their effects on key endocrine pathways in adipose tissue (AT), to further evaluate their potential role in metabolic pathologies such as obesity.
Objectives: THE AIM IS TWOFOLD: (i) evaluate gene expression levels of obesity marker genes, i.e. the adipokines leptin (LEP), adiponectin (ADIPOQ) and Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNFα) and the nuclear receptor, Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor γ (PPARγ) in paired subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral (VAT) AT of obese subjects (n = 50) and to relate these values to serum concentrations of LEP and ADIPOQ (ii) evaluate the association of expression levels of marker genes in AT and serum with POP concentrations in AT.
Results and conclusions: Leptin and adiponectin levels in serum were positively correlated to respectively expression levels of leptin in SAT and adiponectin in VAT. Our study shows more significant correlations between gene expression of obesity marker genes and POP concentrations in VAT compared to SAT. Since VAT is more important than SAT in pathologies associated with obesity, this suggests that POPs are able to influence the association between obesity and the development of associated pathologies. Moreover, this finding reveals the importance of VAT when investigating the obesogen hypothesis. Concerning PPARγ expression in VAT, negative correlations with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) concentrations were found in non T2D patients. LEP serum concentrations correlated with several PCBs in women whereas in men no correlations were found. This strengthens the potential importance of gender differences in obesity and within the obesogen hypothesis.