BACKGROUND. Induction of insulin resistance is a key pathway through which obesity increases risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular events. Although the detrimental effects of obesity on insulin sensitivity are incompletely understood, accumulation of visceral, subcutaneous, and liver fat and impairment of insulin-induced muscle microvascular recruitment (MVR) may be involved. As these phenotypic changes often coincide in obesity, we aimed to unravel whether they independently contribute to insulin resistance and thus constitute separate targets for intervention. METHODS. We measured visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) volumes and intrahepatic lipid (IHL) content by MRI, and whole body glucose disposal (WBGD) and MVR (using contrast-enhanced ultrasound) responses to a euglycemic insulin clamp in lean (n = 25) and abdominally obese men (n = 52). Abdominally obese men were randomized to dietary weight loss intervention or habitual diet. RESULTS. Obesity-associated increases in VAT, SAT, and IHL, along with the decrease in MVR, contributed independently to insulin resistance. Moreover, a dietary weight loss intervention reduced insulin resistance, and mediation analyses showed that decreased IHL and insulin-induced MVR, but not decreased VAT or SAT volumes, independently contributed to improved insulin resistance seen with weight loss. CONCLUSION. Quantifying the mutually independent contributions of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue, intrahepatic lipid, and insulin-induced muscle microvascular recruitment reveals distinct targets for treating obesity-associated insulin resistance. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01675401. FUNDING. Funding was from the Top Institute Food and Nutrition.
Yvo H.A.M. Kusters, Casper G. Schalkwijk, Alfons J.H.M. Houben, M. Eline Kooi, Lucas Lindeboom, Jos Op ’t Roodt, Peter J. Joris, Jogchum Plat, Ronald P. Mensink, Eugene J. Barrett, Coen D.A. Stehouwer
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.