Impaired capacity to lose visceral adipose tissue during weight reduction in obese postmenopausal women with the Trp64Arg β3-adrenoceptor gene variant

André Tchernof, Raymond D. Starling, Amy Turner, Alan R. Shuldiner, Jeremy D. Walston, Kristi Silver, Eric T. Poehlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Controversy exists regarding the association between the Trp64Arg variant of the β3-adrenoceptor gene and visceral obesity. The cross-sectional nature of most studies, the modest effect of the variant, and sex or ethnic differences between groups have contributed to discrepancies among investigations. To overcome these confounding factors, we examined the effect of the Trp64Arg variant on total and visceral adipose tissue loss, insulin sensitivity, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in response to weight reduction in obese older women. A total of 24 women (age 57 ± 4 years), including 1 Trp64Arg homozygote, 10 Trp64Arg heterozygotes, and 13 normal homozygotes, were admitted to a weight reduction program of 13 ± 3 months, with weight and nutritional intake stabilization established before testing. Total and regional adiposity were measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography, insulin sensitivity was measured by the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique, and a blood lipid profile was obtained. No baseline differences were noted in adiposity measurements, glucose disposal, and lipid profiles among carriers and noncarriers of the variant allele. In response to weight loss, carriers and noncarriers of the Trp64Arg allele had similar reductions in body weight (-16.4 ± 5.0 vs. -14.1 ± 6.2 kg, NS) and body fat (-10.0 ± 5.2 vs. -11.5 ± 3.9 kg, NS). However, loss of visceral adipose tissue was 43% lower in carriers of the Trp64Arg allele compared with noncarriers (-46 ± 27 vs. -81 ± 51 cm2, P = 0.05). Furthermore, there was less improvement in the total cholesterol-to-HDL cholesterol ratio (-0.18 ± 0.54 vs. -0.72 ± 0.56, P = 0.04) in carriers compared with noncarriers of the allele. Although glucose disposal improved in both groups, there was no difference in the magnitude of improvement between carriers and noncarriers of the variant allele. In conclusion, older obese women carrying the Trp64Arg β3-adrenoceptor gene variant have an impaired capacity to lose visceral adipose tissue in response to prolonged caloric restriction. Despite these genetic differences in loss of intraabdominal adipose tissue, improvement in glucose disposal was similar between groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1709-1713
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetes
Volume49
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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