Prostaglandin (PG) F2 alpha synthesis in human subcutaneous and omental adipose tissue: modulation by inflammatory cytokines and role of the human aldose reductase AKR1B1

PLoS One. 2014 Mar 24;9(3):e90861. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090861. eCollection 2014.


Introduction: PGF2α may be involved in the regulation of adipose tissue function.

Objectives: 1) To examine PGF2α release by primary preadipocytes, mature adipocytes and whole tissue explants from the subcutaneous and omental fat compartments; 2) To assess which PGF synthase is the most relevant in human adipose tissue.

Methods: Fat samples were obtained by surgery in women. PGF2α release by preadipocytes, adipocytes and explants under stimulation by TNF-α, IL-1β or both was measured. Messenger RNA expression levels of AKR1B1 and AKR1C3 were measured by RT-PCR in whole adipose tissue and cytokine-treated preadipocytes. The effect of AKR1B1 inhibitor ponalrestat on PGF2α synthesis was investigated.

Results: PGF2α release was significantly induced in response to cytokines compared to control in omental (p = 0.01) and to a lesser extent in subcutaneous preadipocytes (p = 0.02). Messenger RNA of COX-2 was significantly higher in omental compared to subcutaneous preadipocytes in response to combined TNF-α and IL-1β (p = 0.01). Inflammatory cytokines increased AKR1B1 mRNA expression and protein levels (p≤0.05), but failed to increase expression levels of AKR1C3 in cultured preadipocytes. Accordingly, ponalrestat blunted PGF2α synthesis by preadipocytes in basal and stimulated conditions (p≤0.05). Women with the highest PGF2α release by omental adipocytes had a higher BMI (p = 0.05), waist circumference (p≤0.05) and HOMAir index (p≤0.005) as well as higher mRNA expression of AKR1B1 in omental (p<0.10) and subcutaneous (p≤0.05) adipose tissue compared to women with low omental adipocytes PGF2α release. Positive correlations were observed between mRNA expression of AKR1B1 in both compartments and BMI, waist circumference as well as HOMAir index (p≤0.05 for all).

Conclusion: PGF2α release by omental mature adipocytes is increased in abdominally obese women. Moreover, COX-2 expression and PGF2α release is particularly responsive to inflammatory stimulation in omental preadipocytes. Yet, blockade of PGF synthase AKR1B1 inhibits most of the PGF2α release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aldehyde Reductase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Aldehyde Reductase / metabolism*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Dinoprost / biosynthesis*
  • Dinoprost / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Omentum / cytology*
  • Omentum / pathology
  • Subcutaneous Fat / drug effects
  • Subcutaneous Fat / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Dinoprost
  • AKR1B1 protein, human
  • Aldehyde Reductase
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Glucose