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Differences in the fatty acid metabolism of visceral adipose tissue in postmenopausal women

Yamatani, Hizuru MD, PhD1; Takahashi, Kazuhiro MD, PhD1; Yoshida, Takayuki MD, PhD1; Soga, Tomoyoshi PhD2; Kurachi, Hirohisa MD, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e318296431a
Original Articles

Objective Visceral fat accumulation and metabolic syndrome incidence among women increase after menopause; therefore, fat metabolic changes and fat redistribution may occur according to menstrual status. The aim of our study was to clarify differences in subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue metabolism between premenopausal and postmenopausal women, using metabolomics.

Methods Thirty-nine (16 premenopausal and 23 postmenopausal) women were recruited through elective gynecologic surgery, and both subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues were collected during surgical operation. Metabolite profiling of adipose tissue was performed by capillary electrophoresis with electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

Results Sedoheptulose 7-phosphate, a midproduct of the pentose phosphate pathway, was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in visceral adipose tissues of premenopausal women. Dihydroxyacetone phosphate and fructose-1,6-biphosphate, midproducts of glycolysis, were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in subcutaneous adipose tissues of postmenopausal women. The concentrations of fatty acid metabolites—heptanoate (C7:0; premenopausal vs postmenopausal, 4.07 [0.72] vs 2.64 [0.28] nmol/g), octanoate (C8:0; 3.52 [0.29] vs 5.20 [0.29] nmol/g), and pelargonate (C9:0; 8.03 [0.49] vs 10.66 [0.44] nmol/g)—in the visceral fat (but not in subcutaneous fat) of postmenopausal women were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those in the visceral fat of premenopausal women.

Conclusions Fatty acid metabolites increase in visceral fat (but not in subcutaneous fat) after menopause. The change in fatty acid metabolism in visceral adipose tissues might be related to metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.

From the 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Yamagata, Yamagata 990-9585, Japan; and 2Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Yamagata, Tsuruoka 997-0052, Japan.

Received February 12, 2013; revised and accepted April 8, 2013.

Funding/support: This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (grant 22390308 to H.K. and grant 23592433 to K.T.) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan and by Grants-in-Aid for the Global Center of Excellence Program from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Kazuhiro Takahashi, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yamagata University School of Medicine, 2-2-2 Iidanishi, Yamagata 990-9585, Japan. E-mail:

© 2014 by The North American Menopause Society.