Abstract Objective Type 2 diabetes presents at a lower body mass index (BMI) in Chinese individualsthan in Caucasians. We sought to determine the role of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT)-intrinsic factors, versus BMI or adiposity per se, in the vulnerability of Chinese individuals toobesity-associated impairment of insulin sensitivity. Research Design and Methods 32 Chinese and 30 Caucasian men and women from a cohortin the San Francisco Bay Area underwent anthropometric measurements, body composition(DXA) analyses, and measurement of fasting plasma glucose and insulin. 48 also providedabdominal SCAT samples for transcriptional and biochemical analyses of tissue fibrosis. Results BMI correlated with total body fat in Caucasian (r = 0.74, p< 0.001), but not Chineseindividuals, whereas BMI correlated with visceral adipose tissue (VAT) accrual in bothethnicities (r = 0.88 and 0.81, respectively; p<0.01). Insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) worsenedwith VAT mass, but not total body fat, in Chinese subjects (r= 0.63, p < 0.01), whereas itworsened with both in Caucasians. By contrast, SCAT mRNA levels of genes encoding pro-fibrotic proteins rose remarkably along with both BMI and VAT mass in Chinese, but notCaucasian subjects. Similarly, SCAT levels of hydroxyproline, an indicator of tissue collagencontent that correlated with increasing VAT mass, were higher in Chinese vs. Caucasiansubjects, particularly in the setting of relative insulin resistance. Conclusions Our findings dissociate BMI from adiposity in Chinese individuals, and insteadhighlight SCAT fibrosis as a process linked to visceral adiposity and insulin resistance in thisgroup. Copyright © 2018 Endocrine Society
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism – Oxford University Press
Published: May 28, 2018
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