Background: Although bariatric surgery is currently the most common practice for inducing weight loss in morbidly obese patients (BMI∈>∈40 kg/m2), its effect on the lipid content of adipose tissue and its lipases (lipoprotein lipase [LPL] and hormone-sensitive lipase [HSL]) are controversial. Methods: We analyzed LPL and HSL activities and lipid content from plasma as well as subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral (VAT) adipose tissue of 34 morbidly obese patients (MO) before and after (6 and 12 months) Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and compare the values with those of normal weight (control) patients. Results: LPL activity was significantly higher in MO (SAT∈=∈32.9∈±∈1.0 vs VAT∈=∈36. 4∈±∈3.3 mU/g tissue; p∈<∈0.001) than in control subjects (SAT∈=∈8.2∈±∈1.4 vs VAT∈=∈6. 8∈±∈1.0 mU/g tissue) in both adipose depots. HSL activity had similar values in both types of tissue (SAT∈=∈32. 8∈±∈1.6 and VAT∈=∈32.9∈±∈1.6 mU/g) of MO. In the control group, we found similar results but with lower values (SAT∈=∈11.9∈±∈1.4 vs VAT∈=∈12. 1∈±∈1.4 mU/g tissue). Twelve months after surgery, SAT LPL activity diminished (9.8∈±∈1.4 mU/g tissue, p∈<∈0.001 vs morbidly obese), while HSL (46.6∈±∈3. 7 mU/g tissue) remained high. All lipids in tissue and plasma diminished after bariatric surgery except plasma nonesterified fatty acids, which maintained higher levels than controls (16∈±∈3 vs 9∈±∈0 mg/dL; p∈<∈0.001, respectively). Conclusions: When obese patients lose weight, they lose not only part of the lipid content of the cells but also the capacity to store triacylglycerides in SAT depots. © 2009 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.
- Adipocyte size
- Weight loss