A Nontargeted Proteomic Study of the Influence of Androgen Excess on Human Visceral and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Proteomes

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

Sex hormones, particularly androgens, may influence not only adipose tissue distribution but also its functions.

We aimed to evaluate if sexual dimorphism in body composition is accompanied by differences in the protein abundance of adipose tissue by applying a nontargeted proteomic approach.

This was a case-control study.

The setting was an academic hospital.

Twenty-one morbidly obese patients, including 7 men, 7 women showing no evidence of androgen excess, and 7 hyperandrogenic women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Interventions:We obtained subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral (VAT) adipose tissue samples during bariatric surgery.

Protein abundance in VAT and SAT was analyzed by 2-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight/time-of-flight coupled to mass spectrometry. Results were validated by RT-PCR.
Results:The abundance of 2 spots of peroxiredoxin 6, creatine kinase B-type, 2 spots of selenium-binding protein 1, ruvB-like 2, 4-trimethylaminobutyraldehyde dehydrogenase, and albumin were higher in VAT compared with SAT in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Men showed a similar pattern, whereas no difference between adipose tissue depots was observed in control women. Other proteins showed differences between VAT and SAT, confirming previous studies, or between the groups of subjects, without interaction between both effects. Several findings were confirmed by RT-PCR.

Sexual dimorphism influences the abundance of several proteins in VAT and SAT. The patterns of abundance in adipose tissue depots of several proteins involved in metabolic processes were similar in women with androgen excess and in men, suggesting that androgens influence adipose tissue function.