Subcutaneous and Visceral Adipose Tissue Secretions from Extremely Obese Men and Women both Acutely Suppress Muscle Insulin Signaling

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 May 2;18(5):959. doi: 10.3390/ijms18050959.


Adipose tissue plays a key role in the development of type-2 diabetes via the secretion of adipokines. The current study investigated if secretion media derived from intact visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) adipose tissues from extremely obese men and women differently suppressed insulin signaling in human skeletal myotubes derived from a healthy, non-diabetic male and female donor, respectively. Adipose tissue samples were collected from men and women during laparoscopic bariatric surgery. In general, secretion media collected from both SAT and VAT depots caused impaired insulin signaling in myotubes, independent of sex. In females, this was true regardless of the protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation site (Akt Thr308 and Akt Ser473) assessed (p < 0.01). In males, both SAT and VAT secretion media reduced Akt Thr308 activation in insulin-stimulated myotubes compared to controls (p < 0.001); however, only the VAT secretion media impaired Akt Ser473 phosphorylation. Independent of sex, 13 out of 18 detected cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors were more abundant in VAT versus SAT secretion media (p < 0.01). Both SAT and VAT secretion media from obese men and women acutely suppress insulin signaling in myotubes, despite different secretion profiles. We propose that this crosstalk model will help to extend our understanding of the interplay between adipose and muscle, as well as the pathogenesis of type-2 diabetes.

Keywords: adipokines; crosstalk; muscle insulin resistance; white adipose tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Obesity, Morbid / metabolism*
  • Sex Factors
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / metabolism*


  • Adipokines
  • Chemokines
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Insulin