Salsalate treatment improves glycemia without altering adipose tissue in nondiabetic obese hispanics

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Mar;23(3):543-51. doi: 10.1002/oby.20991. Epub 2015 Feb 3.


Objective: Salsalate treatment has well-known effects on improving glycemia, and the objective of this study was to examine whether the mechanism of this effect was related to changes in adipose tissue.

Methods: A randomized double-blind and placebo-controlled trial in obese Hispanics (18-35 years) was conducted. The intervention consisted of 4 g day(-1) of salsalate (n = 11) versus placebo (n = 13) for 4 weeks. Outcome measures included glycemia, adiposity, ectopic fat, and adipose tissue gene expression and inflammation.

Results: In those receiving salsalate, plasma fasting glucose decreased by 3.4% (P < 0.01), free fatty acids decreased by 42.5% (P = 0.06), and adiponectin increased by 27.7% (P < 0.01). Salsalate increased insulin AUC by 38% (P = 0.01) and HOMA-B by 47.2% (P < 0.01) while estimates of insulin sensitivity/resistance were unaffected. These metabolic improvements occurred without changes in total, abdominal, visceral, or liver fat. Plasma markers of inflammation/immune activation were unchanged following salsalate. Salsalate had no effects on adipose tissue including adipocyte size, presence of crown-like structures, or gene expression of adipokines, immune cell markers, or cytokines downstream of NF-κB with the exception of downregulation of IL-1β (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Findings suggest that metabolic improvements in response to salsalate occurred without alterations in adiposity, ectopic fat, or adipose tissue gene expression and inflammation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • California
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glycemic Index
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Salicylates / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Insulin
  • Salicylates
  • salicylsalicylic acid