Effects of Weight Loss and Exercise on Apelin Serum Concentrations and Adipose Tissue Expression in Human Obesity

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Apelin is an adipokine which plays a role in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and may contribute to the link between increased adipose tissue mass and obesity related metabolic diseases. Here we investigate the role of omental and subcutaneous (SC) adipose tissue apelin and its receptor APJ mRNA expression in human obesity and test the hypothesis that changes in circulating apelin are associated with reduced fat mass in three weight loss intervention studies.


Apelin serum concentration was measured in 740 individuals in a cross-sectional (n = 629) study including a subgroup (n = 161) for which omental and SC apelin mRNA expression has been analyzed and in three interventions: 12 weeks exercise (n = 60), 6 months calorie-restricted diet (n = 19), 12 months after bariatric surgery (n = 32).


Apelin mRNA is significantly higher expressed in adipose tissue of patients with type 2 diabetes and correlates with circulating apelin, BMI, body fat, C-reactive protein, and insulin sensitivity. Obesity surgery-induced weight loss causes a significant reduction in omental and SC apelin expression. All interventions led to significantly reduced apelin serum concentrations which significantly correlate with improved insulin sensitivity, independently of changes in BMI.


Reduced apelin expression and serum concentration may contribute to improved insulin sensitivity beyond significant weight loss.

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