Dahlman I, Rydén M, Brodin D, Grallert H, Strawbridge RJ, Arner P
Diabetes 65 (2) 433-437 [2016-02-00; online 2016-01-23]
Central fat accumulation is a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous loci associated with body fat distribution. The objectives of the current study are to examine whether genes in genetic loci linked to fat distribution can be linked to fat cell size and number (morphology) and/or adipose tissue function. We show, in a cohort of 114 women, that almost half of the 96 genes in these loci are indeed associated with abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue parameters. Thus, adipose mRNA expression of the genes is strongly related to adipose morphology, catecholamine-induced lipid mobilization (lipolysis), or insulin-stimulated lipid synthesis in adipocytes (lipogenesis). In conclusion, the genetic influence on body fat distribution could be mediated via several specific alterations in adipose tissue morphology and function, which in turn may influence the development of type 2 diabetes.