Subcutaneous adipose tissue composition and function are unaffected by liraglutide-induced weight loss in adults with type 1 diabetes

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  • Anne Marie Wegeberg
  • Theresa Meldgaard
  • Amanda Bæk
  • Asbjørn Mohr Drewes
  • Mogens Vyberg
  • Niels Jessen
  • Brock, Birgitte
  • Christina Brock

Adipose tissue is the primary energy reservoir of the human body, which also possesses endocrine functions. The glucagon-like peptide agonist liraglutide produces weight loss, although the specific effects on adipose tissue are unknown. We aimed to characterize the white adipose tissue composition and pericellular fibrosis of subcutaneous adipose tissue in response to liraglutide treatment. Furthermore, we explored the level of circulating free fatty acids, cluster of differentiation 163 (CD163) macrophage marker, leptin and adiponectin. Thirty-nine adults with type 1 diabetes and polyneuropathy were randomly assigned to 26 weeks of liraglutide or placebo treatment. Biopsies of subcutaneous tissue were formalin-fixed stained with picrosirius red to visualize collagen or immunohistochemically stained for CD163. Serum concentrations of free fatty acids, CD163, leptin and adiponectin were assessed with immunoassays or multiplex panels. In comparison with placebo, liraglutide induced weight loss (3.38 kg, 95% CI −5.29; −1.48, P < 0.001), but did not cause any differences in cell size, distribution of CD163-positive cells, pericellular fibrosis and serum levels of free fatty acids, CD163, leptin or adiponectin (all P < 0.1). Additionally, no associations between weight loss, cell size and serum markers were found (all P > 0.08). In conclusion, despite liraglutide's effect on weight loss, sustained alterations in subcutaneous adipose tissue did not seem to appear.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBasic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)773-782
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Association for the Publication of BCPT (former Nordic Pharmacological Society).

    Research areas

  • adipose, anti-inflammatory drugs, diabetes mellitus, liraglutide, weight loss drugs

ID: 302818653