Objective: To substantiate in a premenopausal population of women, the link between visceral adipose tissue and circulating plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) levels.
Design: Study of correlations between anthropometric parameters and PAI-1 and evaluation of the changes induced by weight loss.
Subjects: Forty-two healthy pre-menopausal women (aged 18-51 y, with a wide range of body mass index (BMI, 21-48.8 kg/m2). Thirteen women were evaluated after weight loss (6.6+/-3.3 kg).
Measurements: BMI, waist and hip circumferences. Total, subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue areas at the L3-L4 level by computed tomography. Insulin, cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, PAI-1 activity, PAI-1 antigen and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) antigen.
Results: PAI-1 activity, PAI antigen and tPA antigen were positively correlated with visceral adipose tissue, but not with subcutaneous adipose tissue. This correlation was independent of insulin or triglyceride levels. The amount of visceral adipose tissue explained 28% of the PAI-1 activity variance. Weight loss confirmed this link, PAI-1 diminution being correlated only with visceral adipose tissue loss and not with total fat, insulin or triglyceride decrease.
Conclusion: This study suggests, like in vitro studies, that visceral fat may be an important contributor to the circulating PAI-1.