ABSTRACT: Adipose tissue glucocorticoid action relies on local enzymatic interconversion and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) availability. 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), 2 (11β-HSD2) and hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) are likely involved in glucocorticoid activation/inactivation within adipose tissue. We examined adipose tissue mRNA expression of genes related to glucocorticoid action and their association with total and visceral adiposity. Messenger RNA was measured in paired subcutaneous and omental fat samples obtained from 56 women (age: 47.3 ± 4.8 years, BMI: 27.1 ± 5.2 kg/m(2)) undergoing gynaecological surgery. Expression levels of 11β-HSD2, H6PDH and GRα were higher in omental adipose tissue while 11β-HSD1 expression was similar between fat compartments. Subcutaneous and omental 11β-HSD1 mRNA abundances were positively associated with total and visceral adiposity whereas omental H6PDH mRNA abundance was negatively associated with these measures. Only omental 11β-HSD1 mRNA expression remained significantly associated with visceral adipose tissue area following statistical adjustment for fat mass, age and menopausal status. Omental 11β-HSD1 mRNA expression explained 19.1% of the variance in visceral adipose tissue area. Omental fat tissue 11β-HSD-1 protein and cortisol levels were higher in visceral obese women, supporting findings obtained with 11β-HSD-1 mRNA. These results suggest that among the transcripts examined only omental 11β-HSD1 is independently associated with visceral obesity in women.
The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 03/2010; 122(1-3):28-34. · 2.66 Impact Factor