Adipose tissue expression of adipose (WDTC1) gene is associated with lower fat mass and enhanced insulin sensitivity in humans


  • Funding agencies: This study was funded by DK60412 (ER), U01 DK056990 (DEK), USDA 2010-34323-21052 (GAB), University of Pittsburgh Obesity & Nutrition Research Center (P30-DK46204), the University of Pittsburgh General Clinical Research Center (MO1-RR000056), Pennington Biomedical Research Center Nutrition Obesity Research Center (P30-DK072476), the Columbia University Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center (P30-DK63608), the New York Obesity Research Center (P30-DK26687) and the Columbia University Clinical Translational Service Award (CTSA, UL1 RR024156). JEG was supported by a fellowship from The International Nutrition Foundation/Ellison Medical Foundation.

    Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

    Clinical trial NCT00017953 (Look AHEAD),


The overexpression of the adipose gene (adp/WDTC1) in mice inhibits lipid accumulation and improves the metabolic profile.


Subcutaneous fat adp expression in humans and its relation to metabolic parameters was evaluated.

Design and Methods

Abdominal subcutaneous fat adp expression, insulin sensitivity (clamp), and respiratory quotient (RQ; indirect calorimetry) were assessed in: 36 obese and 56 BMI-, race-, and sex-matched type 2 diabetic volunteers (Look AHEAD Adipose Ancillary Study); 37 nondiabetic Pima Indians including obese (n = 18) and nonobese (n = 19) subjects and; 62 nonobese nondiabetic subjects at the Pennington Center in the ADAPT study.


In the Look AHEAD Study, adp expression normalized for cyclophilin B was higher in males versus females (1.27 ± 0.06 vs. 1.11 ± 0.04; P < 0.01) but not after controlling for body fat. Adp expression was not influenced by the presence of diabetes but was related to body fat (r = −0.23; P = 0.03), insulin sensitivity (r = 0.23; P = 0.03) and fasting/insulin-stimulated RQ (r = 0.31 and 0.33; P < 0.01). In Pima Indians, adp expression was also higher in males versus females (1.00 ± 0.05 vs. 0.77 ± 0.05; P = 0.02) and higher in nonobese versus obese (1.02 ± 0.05 vs. 0.80 ± 0.06; P = 0.03). In the ADAPT study, there was no difference in adp expression between males and females.


Consistent with animal studies, our results suggest that high adp expression in human adipose tissue is associated with lower adiposity and enhanced glucose utilization.