We examined plasma and fat tissue sex steroid levels in a sample of 28 men aged 24.8-62.2 years (average BMI value of 46.3 +/- 12.7 kg/m(2)). Abdominal adipose tissue biopsies were obtained during general or obesity surgery. Omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue steroid levels were measured by gas chromatography and chemical ionization mass spectrometry after appropriate extraction procedures. BMI and waist circumference were negatively correlated with plasma testosterone (r = -0.49 and -0.50, respectively, p < 0.01) and dihydrotestosterone (r = -0.58 and -0.56, respectively, p < 0.01), and positively associated with estrone levels (r = 0.64 and 0.62, respectively, p < 0.001). Regional differences in adipose tissue steroid levels were observed for dihydrotestosterone (p < 0.005), androstenedione (p < 0.0001) and dehydroepiandrosterone levels (p < 0.05), which were all significantly more concentrated in omental versus subcutaneous fat. Positive significant associations were found between circulating level of a steroid and its concentration in omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue, for estrone (r = 0.72 and 0.57, respectively, p < 0.01), testosterone (r = 0.66 and 0.58, respectively, p < 0.01) and dihydrotestosterone (r = 0.58 and 0.45, respectively, p < 0.05). Positive correlations were observed between plasma dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate and omental (r = 0.56, p < 0.01) as well as subcutaneous adipose tissue dehydroepiandrosterone level (r = 0.38, p = 0.05). Positive significant associations were found between omental adipocyte responsiveness to positive lipolytic stimuli (isoproterenol, dibutyryl cyclic AMP and forskolin) and plasma or omental fat tissue androgen levels. In conclusion, although plasma androgen or estrogen levels are strong correlates of adipose tissue steroid content both in the omental and subcutaneous fat depots, regional differences may be observed. Androgen concentration differences in omental versus subcutaneous adipose tissue suggest a depot-specific impact of these hormones on adipocyte function and metabolism.
"However limited studies have examined the capabilities of peripheral tissues such as skin and adipose tissue to synthesise weaker circulatory androgens. Currently 15 steroidogenic enzymes are recognised to exist within adipose tissue including aromatase, 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase  type 1 , 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase types 1 and 2 , 5α-reductase  and 17β-HSD types 2, 3 and 5. It is also recognised that adipocytes contain components necessary for transport and metabolism of cholesterol which is essential for the initial steps of steroid synthesis. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic disorders characterized by insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia, and its presence can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease significantly. The metabolic syndrome is associated with increased circulating androgen levels in women, which may originate from the ovaries and adrenal glands. Adipocytes are also able to synthesise steroid hormones, and this output has been hypothesised to increase with elevated insulin plasma concentrations. However, the contribution of the adipocytes to the circulating androgen levels in women with metabolic syndrome is limited and the effects of insulin are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of steroid precursors and synthetic enzymes in human adipocyte biopsies as markers of possible adipocyte androgen synthesis. We examined pre and mature adipocytes taken from tissue biopsies of abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue of participating women from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, of the Royal Derby Hospital. The results showed the potential for localised adipocyte androgen synthesis through the presence of the androgen precursor progesterone, as well as the steroid-converting enzyme 17α-hydroxylase. Furthermore, we found the controlled secretion of androstenedione in vitro and that insulin treatment caused levels to increase. Continued examination of a localised source of androgen production is therefore of clinical relevance due to its influence on adipocyte metabolism, its negative impact on female steroidogenic homeostasis, and the possible aggravation this may have when associated to obesity and obesity related metabolic abnormalities such as hyperinsulinaemia.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports 12/2014; 1(1):254–263. DOI:10.1016/j.ymgmr.2014.05.002
"The metabolism of adipose tissue is known to be affected by gonadal steroid hormones such as testosterone (Andersen et al. 2010; Bélanger et al. 2006; Varlamov et al. 2012). For example, testosterone deficiency caused by castration increases the quantity of adipose tissue in male rat (Li and Bjorntorp 1995) and castration can also increase body fatness in male pigs (Christoffersen et al. 2010). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are class of molecular regulators found to participate in numerous biological processes, such as adipogenesis and obesity in mammals. To determine the roles of miRNAs involved in castration-induced body fatness, we investigated the different miRNA expression patterns in subcutaneous adipose tissue between intact and castrated male pigs. Our results showed that castration led to decrease serum testosterone but increase serum Leptin levels (P < 0.01). Moreover, castration also increased adipocyte size, body fat content and backfat thickness in male pigs (P < 0.01). Meanwhile, miRNA expression profiles in adipose tissue were changed by castration, and 18 miRNAs were considered as the differentially expressed candidates between intact and castrated male pigs. Furthermore, functional analysis indicated that the differential expressed miRNAs and their target genes are involved in the regulation of fatty acid metabolism. In brief, our present study provides a comprehensive view on how miRNAs works in subcutaneous adipose tissue with castration. These results suggested that miRNAs might play an important role in the castration-induced fat deposition in male pigs.
"In addition to lowered circulating serum total testosterone levels, obese individuals may have a propensity to lowered androgens in the local fat milieu. Belanger, et al.46 found a significant negative correlation of omental testosterone levels with waist circumference (r = −0.59, P <0.002). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With increasing modernization and urbanization of Asia, much of the future focus of the obesity epidemic will be in the Asian region. Low testosterone levels are frequently encountered in obese men who do not otherwise have a recognizable hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis pathology. Moderate obesity predominantly decreases total testosterone due to insulin resistance-associated reductions in sex hormone binding globulin. More severe obesity is additionally associated with reductions in free testosterone levels due to suppression of the HPT axis. Low testosterone by itself leads to increasing adiposity, creating a self-perpetuating cycle of metabolic complications. Obesity-associated hypotestosteronemia is a functional, non-permanent state, which can be reversible, but this requires substantial weight loss. While testosterone treatment can lead to moderate reductions in fat mass, obesity by itself, in the absence of symptomatic androgen defi ciency, is not an established indication for testosterone therapy. Testosterone therapy may lead to a worsening of untreated sleep apnea and compromise fertility. Whether testosterone therapy augments diet- and exercise-induced weight loss requires evaluation in adequately designed randomized controlled clinical trials.
Asian Journal of Andrology 12/2013; 16(2). DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122365 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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