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    Site-specific differences of insulin action in adipose tissue derived from normal prepubertal children

    Grohmann, Malcolm, Stewart, Claire E., Welsh, Gavin, Hunt, Linda P., Tavaré, Jeremy, Holly, Jeff, Shield, Julian, Sabin, Matthew A. and Crowne, Elizabeth (2005) Site-specific differences of insulin action in adipose tissue derived from normal prepubertal children. Experimental Cell Research, 308 (2). pp. 469-478. ISSN 1090-2422

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    Body fat distribution determines obesity-related morbidity in adults but little is known of the aetiology or pathophysiology in children. This study investigates differences in insulin-mediated metabolism in primary cell cultures of subcutaneous and visceral preadipocytes derived from prepubertal children. The impact of differentiation and responses to TNFα exposure was also investigated. Proliferation rates were greater in subcutaneous versus visceral preadipocytes (41 h(3) versus 69 h(4); P = 0.008). Insulin caused a dose-dependent increase in GSK-3 phosphorylation and an increase in MAPK phosphorylation over time, with increased sensitivity in subcutaneous preadipocytes. Post-differentiation, dose-dependent increases in GSK-3 phosphorylation were maintained, while MAPK phosphorylation was identical in both subtypes. No changes were observed in insulin receptor abundance pre-/post-differentiation. GLUT4 abundance was significantly increased in visceral versus subcutaneous adipocytes by 76(4)%; P = 0.03), coincidental with increased insulin-stimulated 2-deoxy-glucose transport (+150(26)% versus +79(10)%; P = 0.014) and further elevated by acute exposure to TNFα (+230(52)%; P = 0.019 versus +123(24)%; P = 0.025, respectively). TNFα also significantly increased basal glucose transport rates (+44(14)%; P = 0.006 versus +34(11)%; P = 0.007) and GLUT1 localisation to the plasma membrane. These data establish site-specific differences in subcutaneous and visceral fat cells from children. Responses to insulin varied with differentiation and TNFα exposure in the two depots, consistent with parallel changes in GLUT1/4 abundance and localisation.

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