Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Medical Genomics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Gene expression profiling of subcutaneous adipose tissue in morbid obesity using a focused microarray: Distinct expression of cell-cycle- and differentiation-related genes

Sara Rodríguez-Acebes12, Nuria Palacios3, José I Botella-Carretero23, Nuria Olea1, Lorena Crespo1, Roberto Peromingo4, Diego Gómez-Coronado12, Miguel A Lasunción125, Clotilde Vázquez23 and Javier Martínez-Botas12*

Author affiliations

1 Servicio de Bioquímica-Investigación, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain

2 CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

3 Unidad de Cirugía de la Obesidad, Unidad de Nutrición Clínica y Dietética, Servicio de Endocrinología y Nutrición, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain

4 Unidad de Cirugía de la Obesidad, Servicio de Cirugía General Digestivo, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain

5 Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Medical Genomics 2010, 3:61  doi:10.1186/1755-8794-3-61

Published: 23 December 2010

Abstract

Background

Obesity results from an imbalance between food intake and energy expenditure, which leads to an excess of adipose tissue. The excess of adipose tissue and adipocyte dysfunction associated with obesity are linked to the abnormal regulation of adipogenesis. The objective of this study was to analyze the expression profile of cell-cycle- and lipid-metabolism-related genes of adipose tissue in morbid obesity.

Methods

We used a custom-made focused cDNA microarray to determine the adipose tissue mRNA expression profile. Gene expression of subcutaneous abdominal fat samples from 15 morbidly obese women was compared with subcutaneous fat samples from 10 nonobese control patients. The findings were validated in an independent population of 31 obese women and 9 obese men and in an animal model of obesity (Lepob/ob mice) by real-time RT-PCR.

Results

Microarray analysis revealed that transcription factors that regulate the first stages of adipocyte differentiation, such as CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (C/EBPβ) and JUN, were upregulated in the adipose tissues of morbidly obese patients. The expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), a transcription factor which controls lipid metabolism and the final steps of preadipocyte conversion into mature adipocytes, was downregulated. The expression of three cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors that regulate clonal expansion and postmitotic growth arrest during adipocyte differentiation was also altered in obese subjects: p18 and p27 were downregulated, and p21 was upregulated. Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4), which regulates angiogenesis, lipid and glucose metabolism and it is know to increase dramatically in the early stages of adipocyte differentiation, was upregulated. The expression of C/EBPβ, p18, p21, JUN, and ANGPTL4 presented similar alterations in subcutaneous adipose tissue of Lepob/ob mice.

Conclusions

Our microarray gene profiling study revealed that the expression of genes involved in adipogenesis is profoundly altered in the subcutaneous adipose tissue of morbidly obese subjects. This expression pattern is consistent with an immature adipocyte phenotype that could reflect the expansion of the adipose tissue during obesity.