We examined expression and activity of steroid aldoketoreductase (AKR) 1C enzymes in adipose tissue in women. AKR1C1 (20α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; 20α-HSD), AKR1C2 (3α-HSD-3), and AKR1C3 (17 -HSD-5) are involved mainly in conversion of progesterone to 20α-hydroxyprogesterone and inactivation of dihydrotestosterone to 5α-androstane-3α,17 -diol. Abdominal subcutaneous and omental adipose tissue biopsies were obtained during abdominal hysterectomies in seven women with low visceral adipose tissue (VAT) area and seven age- and total body fat mass-matched women with visceral obesity. Women with elevated VAT areas were characterized by significantly higher omental adipose tissue 20α-HSD and 3α-HSD-3 mRNA abundance compared with women with low VAT accumulations (1.4- and 1.6-fold differences, respectively; P < 0.05). Omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue 3α-HSD activities were significantly higher in women with high vs. low VAT areas ( P < 0.05 for both comparisons). Total and visceral adiposities were positively associated with omental 20α-HSD mRNA level ( r = 0.75, P < 0.003 for fat mass; r = 0.57, P < 0.04 for VAT area) and omental 3α-HSD-3 mRNA level ( r = 0.68, P < 0.01 for fat mass; r = 0.74, P < 0.003 for VAT area). Enzyme activities in both depots were also positively correlated with adiposity measures. Omental adipose tissue enzyme expression and activity were positively associated with omental adipocyte size and LPL activity. In conclusion, mRNA abundance and activity of AKR1C enzymes in abdominal adipose tissue compartments are positive correlates of adiposity in women. Increased progesterone and/or dihydrotestosterone reduction in abdominal adipose tissue may impact locally on fat cell metabolism. visceral obesity; computed tomography; sex hormones; steroidogenic enzymes Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: A. Tchernof, Molecular Endocrinology and Oncology Research Center, Dept. of Nutrition, Laval Univ. Medical Center, 2705 Laurier Blvd. Rm. T3-67, Quebec City, PQ, Canada G1V 4G2 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
AJP - Endocrinology and Metabolism – The American Physiological Society
Published: Feb 1, 2005
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