Effects of male hypogonadism on regional adipose tissue fatty acid storage and lipogenic proteins

Sylvia Santosa, Michael D. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Testosterone has long been known to affect body fat distribution, although the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We investigated the effects of chronic hypogonadism in men on adipose tissue fatty acid (FA) storage and FA storage factors. Twelve men with chronic hypogonadism and 13 control men matched for age and body composition: 1) underwent measures of body composition with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and an abdominal CT scan; 2) consumed an experimental meal containing [ 3H]triolein to determine the fate of meal FA (biopsy-measured adipose storage vs. oxidation); 3) received infusions of [U- 13C]palmitate and [1- 14C]palmitate to measure rates of direct free (F)FA storage (adipose biopsies). Adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase, acyl-CoA synthetase (ACS), and diacylglycerol acetyl-transferase (DGAT) activities, as well as, CD36 content were measured to understand the mechanism by which alterations in fat storage occur in response to testosterone deficiency. Results of the study showed that hypogonadal men stored a greater proportion of both dietary FA and FFA in lower body subcutaneous fat than did eugonadal men (both p<0.05). Femoral adipose tissue ACS activity was significantly greater in hypogonadal than eugonadal men, whereas CD36 and DGAT were not different between the two groups. The relationships between these proteins and FA storage varied somewhat between the two groups. We conclude that chronic effects of testosterone deficiency has effects on leg adipose tissue ACS activity which may relate to greater lower body FA storage. These results provide further insight into the role of androgens in body fat distribution and adipose tissue metabolism in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere31473
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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