A comparison between the abdominal and femoral adipose tissue proteome of overweight and obese women

Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 12;9(1):4202. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40992-x.


Body fat distribution is an important determinant of cardiometabolic health. Lower-body adipose tissue (AT) has protective characteristics as compared to upper-body fat, but the underlying depot-differences remain to be elucidated. Here, we compared the proteome and morphology of abdominal and femoral AT. Paired biopsies from abdominal and femoral subcutaneous AT were taken from eight overweight/obese (BMI ≥ 28 kg/m2) women with impaired glucose metabolism after an overnight fast. Proteins were isolated and quantified using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and protein expression in abdominal and femoral subcutaneous AT was compared. Moreover, correlations between fat cell size and the proteome of both AT depots were determined. In total, 651 proteins were identified, of which 22 proteins tended to be differentially expressed between abdominal and femoral AT after removal of blood protein signals (p < 0.05). Proteins involved in cell structure organization and energy metabolism were differently expressed between AT depots. Fat cell size, which was higher in femoral AT, was significantly correlated with ADH1B, POSTN and LCP1. These findings suggest that there are only slight differences in protein expression between abdominal and femoral subcutaneous AT. It remains to be determined whether these differences, as well as differences in protein activity, contribute to functional and/or morphological differences between these fat depots.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Abdominal Fat / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics
  • Subcutaneous Fat / metabolism*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / pathology


  • Proteome