Aims: To determine leg intermuscular (IMAT) and subcutaneous (SQAT) adipose tissue and their relationships with muscle performance and function in obese adults with and without type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy (T2DMPN).
Methods: Seventy-nine age-matched obese adults were studied, 13 T2DM, 54 T2DMPN, and 24 obese controls. Leg fat (%IMAT, %SQAT) volumes were quantified using MRI. Ankle plantar flexion (PF) torque and power were assessed with isokinetic dynamometry. Physical function was assessed with 9-item Physical Performance Test (PPT), 6-minute walk distance, single-limb balance, and time to ascend 10 stairs. One-way ANOVAs determined group differences, and multiple regression predicted PPT score from disease status, % IMAT, and PF power.
Results: T2DMPN participants had 37% greater IMAT volumes and 15% lower SQAT volumes than controls (p =. 01). T2DMPN and T2DM showed reduced PF torque and power compared to controls. T2DMPN participants had lower PPT score, 6-minute walk, single-limb balance, and stair climbing than controls (all p<.05). %IMAT volume correlated inversely, and %SQAT correlated directly, with PPT. Leg %IMAT and disease status predicted 49% of PPT score.
Conclusions: T2DMPN may represent a shift in adipose tissue accumulation from SQAT to IMAT depots, which is inversely associated with muscle performance and physical function.
Keywords: Adipose tissue; Diabetes; Muscle; Neuropathy; Physical function.
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