Role of DHEA-S on body fat distribution: gender- and depot-specific stimulation of adipose tissue lipolysis.
Hernández-Morante JJ, Pérez-de-Heredia F, Luján JA, Zamora S, Garaulet M.
Department of Physiology, University of Murcia, and Surgery Service, University Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca, Spain.
The objective of this work was to study the possible impact of DHEA-S on body fat distribution and the specific action of the hormone on lipolysis from visceral and subcutaneous human adipose tissue. First, a clinical evaluation was performed in 84 obese patients (29 men, 55 women), measuring serum DHEA-S, computed tomography (CT) anthropometric parameters of abdominal fat distribution. In a second experiment, subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue samples were obtained from 20 obese patients (10 men, 10 women) and cultured in vitro under stimulation with DHEA-S to further assess a possible effect of this hormone on adipose tissue lipolysis. Serum DHEA-S was inversely and specifically associated with visceral fat area (VA) as assessed by CT in men and with waist-to-hip ratio in women. In vitro, DHEA-S increased lipolysis in women’s subcutaneous adipose tissue at 2 h, while in men, the effect was evident in visceral tissue and after 24 h of treatment. In conclusion, DHEA-S contributes to gender-related differences in body fat distribution probably by a differential lipolytic action. We have demonstrated for the first time in vitro that DHEA-S stimulates lipolysis preferably in subcutaneous fat in women and in visceral fat in men.