Gene Expression in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Differs in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Controls Matched Pair-Wise for Age, Body Weight, and Body Mass Index

Presentation Number: OR46-4
Date of Presentation: June 18th, 2013

Elisabet Stener-Victorin*1, Anna Benrick2 and Louise Mannerås Holm2
1University og Gothenburg, Goteborg, Sweden, 2Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Göteborg, Sweden


Background: Adipose tissue dysfunction may be a central factor in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue in PCOS and its relation to metabolic and endocrine features of the syndrome have been fragmentarily investigated.

Objectives: To assess in subcutaneous adipose tissue the expression of genes potentially associated adipose tissue dysfunction and to explore their relation to features of PCOS.

Study design, methods and main outcome measures: Twenty-one women with PCOS (body mass index [BMI] 18.2–33.4 kg/m2) and 21 controls (BMI 19.2–31.7 kg/m2) were matched pair-wise for age, body weight, and BMI. Tissue biopsies were obtained to measure mRNA expression of 44 genes (TaqMan Low Density Array). Differential expression levels were correlated to BMI, glucose disposal rate (GDR), adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity, adipocyte volume, circulating adiponectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) activity, fibrinogen, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and sex steroids.

Results: In PCOS, expression of adiponectin receptor 2 (ADIPOR2), LPL, and twist-related protein 1 (TWIST1) was decreased (P<0.05, P<0.01, P<0.05, respectively) while expression of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) and heme oxygenase (decycling 1) (HMOX1) was increased (P<0.05). After age, weight and BMI adjustment, TWIST1 and LPL expression correlated with LPL activity (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively), and ADIPOR2 with plasma estradiol (P<0.01) in PCOS women. HMOX1 and CCL2 expression correlated with PAI-1 activity (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively), although the significance was lost after adjustment for age, weight and BMI.

Conclusions: Adipose tissue mRNA expression differed in PCOS women and controls. Expression of TWIST1 and HMOX1, both novel adipokines, correlated positively with LPL activity and PAI-1 activity, respectively. These genes in particular merit further investigation.


Nothing to Disclose: ES, AB, LM