Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2012, Article ID 787201, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Differences in Expression, Content, and Activity of 11 -HSD1 in Adipose Tissue between Obese Men and Women

1Institute of Maternal and Child Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Casilla 226-3, 8360160 Santiago, Chile
2Department of Surgery, Clínica Las Condes, Santiago, Chile

Received 15 October 2012; Accepted 1 November 2012

Academic Editors: B. Kim, C. N. Mowa, and E. Spinedi

Copyright © 2012 A. Torres et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cortisol production in adipose tissue is regulated by 11β-HSD1. Objective. To determine whether there are differences in gene expression, enzyme activity, and protein content of the 11β-HSD1 enzyme in VAT (visceral adipose tissue) and SAT (subcutaneous adipose tissue) from obese compared to nonobese adults. Methods. VAT and SAT samples were obtained from 32 obese subjects (  Kg/m2) who underwent bariatric surgery and 15 samples from controls submitted to elective surgery. Fasting serum glucose, insulin, and lipids were measured. The expression of 11β-HSD1 was determined by RT-PCR, the enzyme activity by thin-layer chromatography, and the protein content by Western blot. Results. Obese patients had higher cholesterol, insulin, and HOMA-IR compared to nonobese. There were no differences in VAT or SAT expression of 11β-HSD1 between obese and nonobese patients. However, we found lower 11β-HSD1 activity and protein content in VAT, in obese women versus nonobese women ( ). BMI and 11β-HSD1 enzyme activity and protein content in VAT correlated inversely in women. Conclusions. Regulation of 11β-HSD1 activity in VAT from obese subjects appears to be gender specific, suggesting the existence of a possible protective mechanism modulating this enzyme activity leading to a decrease in the production of cortisol in this tissue.