Increased body fat mass explains the positive association between circulating estradiol and insulin resistance in postmenopausal women

Authors: Marchand, Geneviève B.; Carreau, Anne-Marie; Weisnagel, S. John; Bergeron, Jean; Labrie, FernandLemieux, SimoneTchernof, André
Abstract: The relationship between circulating estrogen levels and cardiometabolic risk factors such as insulin resistance is unclear in postmenopausal women. High estradiol (E2) levels have been reported to predict increased risk of type 2 diabetes in this population. We aimed to examine associations among estrogen levels, adiposity measurements, and cardiometabolic risk variables including insulin resistance in postmenopausal women. One hundred-one healthy participants (mean ± SD: age 57 ± 4 yr, BMI 27.9 ± 4.8 kg/m2) were included in the analysis. Fifteen plasma steroids or metabolites were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Insulin sensitivity was assessed with a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Body composition and fat distribution were determined with hydrostatic weighing and computed tomography, respectively. Blood lipids and circulating cytokines were also measured. Circulating E2 was positively correlated with all adiposity indexes (r = 0.62 to 0.42, P < 0.0001) except waist-to-hip ratio. E2 was positively correlated with VLDL-cholesterol, plasma-, VLDL-, and HDL-triglyceride levels (r = 0.31 to 0.24, P < 0.02) as well as with hs-CRP and IL-6 (r = 0.52 and 0.29, P < 0.005) and negatively with HDL-cholesterol, adiponectin, and insulin sensitivity (r = −0.36 to −0.20, P < 0.02). With adjustments for percent body fat, correlations between E2 and metabolic risk variables were no longer significant. Similar results were observed for circulating estrone (E1) and estrone-sulfate (E1-S) levels. In conclusion, circulating estrogen concentrations are proportional to adipose mass in postmenopausal women, although they remain in the low range. Insulin resistance as well as altered blood lipids and cytokines are observed when circulating estrogen levels are high within that range, but these differences are explained by concomitant variation in total adiposity.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 8 May 2017
Open Access Date: 9 September 2020
Document version: AM
This document was published in: American journal of physiology : endocrinology and metabolism, Vol. 314 (5), E448-E456 (2018)
American Physiological Society
Alternative version: 10.1152/ajpendo.00293.2017
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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