Vitamin E reduces adipose tissue fibrosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress and improves metabolic profile in obesity

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Aug;23(8):1598-606. doi: 10.1002/oby.21135. Epub 2015 Jul 6.


Objective: To test whether enhancing the capability of adipose tissue to store lipids using antioxidant supplementation may prevent the lipotoxic effects and improve the metabolic profile of long-term obesity.

Methods: C57BL/6J mice were randomized into three experimental groups for 28 weeks: control group (n = 10) fed chow diet (10% kcal from fat), obese group (O, n = 12) fed high-fat (HF) diet (45% kcal from fat), and obese group fed HF diet and supplemented twice a week with 150 mg of α-tocopherol (vitamin E) by oral gavage (OE, n = 12).

Results: HF diet resulted in an obese phenotype with a marked insulin resistance, hypertriglyceridemia, and hepatic steatosis in O mice. Histological analysis of obese visceral adipose tissue (VAT) revealed smaller adipocytes surrounded by a fibrotic extracellular matrix and an increased macrophage infiltration, with the consequent release of proinflammatory cytokines. Vitamin E supplementation decreased oxidative stress and reduced collagen deposition in the VAT of OE mice, allowing a further expansion of the adipocytes and increasing the storage capability. As a result, circulating cytokines were reduced and hepatic steasosis, hypertriglyceridemia, and insulin sensitivity were improved.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that oxidative stress is implicated in extracellular matrix remodeling and may play an important role in metabolic regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / drug effects
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage*


  • Vitamin E