Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the regulation of lipoprotein lipase activity, protein mass, and messenger ribonucleic acid by estradiol.
Study design: Premenopausal women not taking exogenous sex steroids had transdermal 17 beta-estradiol and placebo patches placed in the gluteal region during the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Adipose biopsies were performed from beneath the patches. Adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase activity was determined by a radiometric assay, protein mass was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and messenger ribonucleic acid level was determined by Northern analysis. Comparisons between the treated and placebo sides were analyzed by nonparametric statistics.
Results: Adipose tissue from beneath the 17 beta-estradiol patch had significantly decreased lipoprotein lipase activity and extracellular protein mass than did adipose tissue from beneath the placebo patch. There was no difference in lipoprotein lipase messenger ribonucleic acid levels.
Conclusion: Estrogen decreases lipoprotein lipase activity by a posttranscriptional modification of protein levels. A hypothesis of sex steroid regulation of body fat distribution is proposed.