Regional differences in adrenoceptor binding and fat cell lipolysis in obese, postmenopausal women

Dora M. Berman, Barbara J. Nicklas, Ellen M. Rogus, Karen E. Dennis, Andrew R. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In women there is an increase in visceral obesity, subcutaneous abdominal adipocyte lipolysis, and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with weight gain after menopause. The mechanisms underlying this increase in adrenoreceptor (AR)-agonist catecholamine-stimulated lipolysis and abdominal obesity in postmenopausal women were studied in intact adipocytes isolated from the abdominal and gluteal subcutaneous fat depots in 19 obese (48% ± 1% body fat, mean ± SE) women with a mean ± SE age of 58 ± 1 years. The fat cell size and adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase (ATLPL) activity were similar in both sites. The maximal lipolytic responsiveness and sensitivity to isoproterenol were higher (P < .05) in abdominal compared with gluteal adipocytes, but maximal lipolytic response to a post-AR agent was similar. Abdominal adipocytes had a higher β-AR ([3H]-CGP-12177) and αz- AR ([3H]-yohimbine) affinity than gluteal cells (P < .05), lower α2-AR density (P < .05), but similar β-AR density as gluteal cells. Both abdominal and gluteal cell size correlated with α2-AR density (P < .01), but not with β-AR density. Thus, a higher β-AR affinity and lower α2-AR relative to β-AR density may explain the higher in vitro catecholamine-mediated lipolysis in abdominal compared with gluteal adipocytes in obese, postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalMetabolism: clinical and experimental
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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