Rosiglitazone inhibits the insulin-mediated increase in PAI-1 secretion in human abdominal subcutaneous adipocytes.

Alison Harte, Philip McTernan, CL McTernan, SA Smith, Anthony Barnett, Sudhesh Kumar

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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of insulin and an insulin-sensitizing agent, rosiglitazone (RSG), on the production of plasminogen-activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) in isolated subcutaneous abdominal adipocytes. Human tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) was also measured to assess changes in overall thrombotic risk. METHODS: The mean depot-specific expression of PAI-1 and t-PA mRNA (n = 42) in subcutaneous abdominal (n = 21), omental (n = 10) and thigh (n = 11) adipose tissue depots was examined. Furthermore, subcutaneous adipocytes were treated with insulin, RSG and insulin in combination with RSG (10-8 m) for 48 h. Conditioned media were collected and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays performed for PAI-1 and t-PA (n = 12) antigen. PAI-1 and t-PA mRNA levels were also assessed. RESULTS: PAI-1 mRNA levels were significantly higher in subcutaneous and omental abdominal tissue than in thigh fat (p = 0.037 and p = 0.014). No change in t-PA mRNA expression between the adipose tissue depots was observed. Insulin stimulated PAI-1 protein secretion in a concentration-dependent manner in adipocytes (control: 68.3 +/- 1.2 ng/ml (s.e.m.); 10 nm insulin: 73.7 +/- 3.8 ng/ml upward arrow; 100 nm insulin: 86.8 +/- 4.1 ng/ml upward arrow **; 1000 nm insulin: 102.0 +/- 4.8 ng/ml upward arrow ***; **p <0.01, ***p <0.001). In contrast, insulin + RSG (10-8 m) reduced PAI-1 production relative to insulin alone (***p <0.001), whilst RSG alone reduced PAI-1 protein secretion in a concentration-dependent manner (RSG at 10-10 m: 50.4 +/- 2.87 ng/ml downward arrow ***; RSG at 10-5 m: 30.3 +/- 2.0 ng/ml downward arrow ***; p <0.001). No difference was observed between control and treatments for t-PA secretion (range 7-11 ng/ml). CONCLUSIONS: Insulin stimulated PAI-1 secretion, whilst RSG reduced both PAI-1 secretion alone and in combination with insulin. These data suggest that adipose tissue may contribute significantly to the elevated circulating PAI-1 in obesity. Therefore, RSG's effects on PAI-1 production in adipose tissue may contribute to the fall in circulating PAI-1 levels observed in patients receiving RSG therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-10
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2003


  • adipose tissue
  • PAI-1
  • insulin
  • t-PA
  • rosiglitazone


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