Uncoupling protein-2 gene: reduced mRNA expression in intraperitoneal adipose tissue of obese humans

Diabetologia. 1998 Aug;41(8):940-6. doi: 10.1007/s001250051011.


The mitochondrial uncoupling protein-2 (UCP-2) is a recently discovered homologue of the brown adipose tissue-specific uncoupling protein and could be involved in the regulation of energy balance. Since obesity is associated with disturbed energy homeostasis, we tested the hypothesis that UCP-2 gene expression is deficient in this disorder. We determined, by a competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay, UCP-2 mRNA expression in intra- and extraperitoneal adipose tissues of 107 morbidly obese subjects and 31 lean control subjects. In both obese and non-obese subjects, UCP-2 mRNA abundance was higher in the intraperitoneal than in the extraperitoneal tissue (p < 0.05), but no association was observed between intra- and extraperitoneal expression in either group. Compared with lean control subjects, both male and female obese subjects displayed significantly lower average UCP-2 mRNA expression in the intraperitoneal adipose tissue (p < 0.006), while UCP-2 mRNA abundance in extraperitoneal adipose tissue was not different between obese and non-obese men and women. Intraperitoneal UCP-2 mRNA remained low in nine obese subjects who lost 23 +/- 12 kg of weight over a period of 10 +/- 5 months subsequent to weight reducing surgery. These data support the concept that impaired adipose tissue expression of UCP2 may play a role in the pathophysiology of obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels
  • Male
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondrial Proteins*
  • Obesity, Morbid / metabolism*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Peritoneum
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Uncoupling Agents
  • Uncoupling Protein 2


  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • UCP2 protein, human
  • Uncoupling Agents
  • Uncoupling Protein 2
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase