Enhanced proportion of small adipose cells in insulin-resistant vs insulin-sensitive obese individuals implicates impaired adipogenesis
Aims/hypothesis The biological mechanism by which obesity predisposes to insulin resistance is unclear. One hypothesis is that larger adipose cells disturb metabolism via increased lipolysis. While studies have demonstrated that cell size increases in proportion to BMI, it has not been clearly shown that adipose cell size, independent of BMI, is associated with insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to test this widely held assumption by comparing adipose cell size distribution in 28 equally obese, otherwise healthy individuals who represented extreme ends of the spectrum of insulin sensitivity, as defined by the modified insulin suppression test.