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OBJECTIVE: To explore possible associations between adipose tissue (AT) blood flow (ATBF), AT depot sizes and adipocyte-derived hormones (adipokines) in women. SUBJECTS: In all, 43 healthy women were divided into four groups: normal-weight (n=11) and obese (n=11) pre-menopausal women and normal-weight (n=10) and obese (n=11) post-menopausal women. METHODS: Fasting levels of adipokines were obtained, and a single-slice computed tomography scan at the level of L4-L5 was used to estimate fat depot sizes. ATBF was assessed by xenon washout while in a fasting state and after oral glucose load. We also measured glucose, insulin and non-esterified fatty acids. RESULTS: Total, subcutaneous and visceral AT areas strongly correlated with ATBF (all P<0.001). Circulating leptin levels strongly and inversely correlated with ATBF (P=0.001), but this association did not remain after adjustment for body mass index. Adiponectin was not associated with blood flow. CONCLUSION: ATBF is closely linked to subcutaneous and visceral AT size. Further analyses are needed to determine possible mediators of this association, including mechanistic studies to assess a putative role for leptin as a significant modulator of blood flow.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Obes (Lond)

Publication Date





783 - 789


Adipokines, Adult, Aged, Blood Glucose, Body Composition, Body Mass Index, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Intra-Abdominal Fat, Leptin, Middle Aged, Nitric Oxide, Obesity, Postmenopause, Premenopause, Subcutaneous Fat, Young Adult