Authors: Spencer M, Yang L, Adu A, Finlin BS, Zhu B, Shipp LR, Rasouli N, Peterson CA, Kern PA
Issue: PLoS One. 2014 Jul 10;9(7):e102190
CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE:
Adipose tissue in insulin resistant subjects contains inflammatory cells and extracellular matrix components. This study examined adipose pathology of insulin resistant subjects who were treated with pioglitazone or fish oil.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:
Adipose biopsies were examined from nine insulin resistant subjects before/after treatment with pioglitazone 45 mg/day for 12 weeks and also from 19 subjects who were treated with fish oil (1,860 mg EPA, 1,500 mg DHA daily). These studies were performed in a clinical research center setting.
Pioglitazone treatment increased the cross-sectional area of adipocytes by 18% (p = 0.01), and also increased capillary density without affecting larger vessels. Pioglitazone treatment decreased total adipose macrophage number by 26%, with a 56% decrease in M1 macrophages and an increase in M2 macrophages. Mast cells were more abundant in obese versus lean subjects, and were decreased from 24 to 13 cells/mm(2) (p = 0.02) in patients treated with pioglitazone, but not in subjects treated with FO. Although there were no changes in total collagen protein, pioglitazone increased the amount of elastin protein in adipose by 6-fold.
The PPARγ agonist pioglitazone increased adipocyte size yet improved other features of adipose, increasing capillary number and reducing mast cells and inflammatory macrophages. The increase in elastin may better permit adipocyte expansion without triggering cell necrosis and an inflammatory reaction.