Catecholamines and natriuretic peptides (NPs) are the only hormones with pronounced lipolytic effects in human white adipose tissue. Although catecholamine-induced lipolysis is well-known to be impaired in obesity and insulin resistance, it is not known whether the effect of NPs is also altered.
Catecholamine- and atrial NP (ANP)-induced lipolysis was investigated in abdominal subcutaneous adipocytes in vitro and in situ by microdialysis.
In a cohort of 122 women, both catecholamine and ANP-induced lipolysis in vitro were markedly attenuated in obesity (n=87), but normalized after substantial body weight loss (n=52). The impairment of lipolysis differed between the two hormones when expressing lipolysis per lipid weight, the ratio of stimulated over basal (spontaneous) lipolysis rate or per number of adipocytes. Thus, while the response to catecholamines was lower when expressed as the former two measures, it was higher when expressed per cell number, a consequence of the significantly larger fat cell size in obesity. In contrast, although ANP-induced lipolysis was also attenuated when expressed per lipid weight or the ratio stimulated/basal, it was similar between non-obese and obese subjects when expressed per cell number suggesting that the lipolytic effect of ANP may be even more sensitive to the effects of obesity than catecholamines. Obesity was characterized by a decrease in the protein expression of the signaling NP A receptor (NPRA) and a trend towards increased levels of the clearance receptor NPRC. The impairment in ANP-induced lipolysis observed in vitro, was corroborated by microdialysis experiments in situ in a smaller cohort of lean and overweight men.
ANP- and catecholamine-induced lipolysis are reversibly attenuated in obesity. The pro-lipolytic effects of ANP are relatively more impaired compared to that of catecholamines which may in part be due to specific changes in NP receptor expression. (Words 293/Max 300)International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 26 October 2015. doi:10.1038/ijo.2015.222.