Objective: Little is known about the physiological role and the regulation of uncoupling proteins-2 and -3 (UCP-2 and -3) in adipose tissue. We investigated whether the expression of UCP-2 and -3 in adipose tissue was affected by weight loss due to a biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) and related to the daily energy expenditure (24-h EE). Design: Ten morbidly obese subjects (mean body mass index±S.E.M. = 49.80±2.51 kg/m2) were studied before and 18±2 months after BPD. Methods: We determined body composition using tritiated water and 24-h EE in a respiratory chamber. Adipose tissue UCP-2 and -3 mRNA, plasma insulin, glucose, free fatty acids (NEFA), free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4) and leptin were assayed before and after BPD. Results: BPD treatment resulted in a marked weight loss (P <0.001) mainly due to a fat mass reduction. A significant decrease in 24-h EE/fat-free mass (FFM) (P <0.05) and in UCP-2 (P <0.05) and UCP-3 (P <0.05) mRNA was observed. A significant reduction in plasma insulin. glucose, NEFA, FT3, FT4 and leptin was seen after BPD. The decline in plasma leptin and FFA was tightly correlated with the decrease in both UCP-2 and -3. A significant correlation was found between changes in FT3 and variations in 24-h EE (r = 0.64, P <0.05). In a multiple-regression analysis changes in 24-h EE/FFM after BPD were significantly correlated with changes in UCP-3 expression (P <0.05). Conclusion: These findings suggest that UCPs in adipose tissue may play a role in the reduction in 24-h EE observed in post-obese individuals.
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