Studies of phosphodiesterase effects on adipose tissue metabolism in obese subjects by the microdialysis technique

Marion Fletchner-Mors, C. P. Jenkinson, A. Alt, H. K. Biesalski, G. Adler, H. H. Ditschuneit

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9 Scopus citations


The effect of non-selective (theophylline) inhibition of cyclic AMP breakdown on norepinephrine stimulated lipolysis rate was investigated in subcutaneous adipose tissue of obese subjects. In addition, changes in interstitial glucose and lactate concentration were assessed by means of the microdialysis technique. The interaction of endogenous released insulin and theophylline on adipocyte metabolism was determined. Theophylline and norepinephrine alone increased glycerol outflow significantly. When both agents were perfused in combination, interstitial glycerol concentration increased further. The enhanced glycerol level due to theophylline application was slightly decreased by insulin. In the presence of theophylline, extracellular glucose concentration increased, in contrast to the catecholamine. Norepinephrine decreased interstitial glucose level. When both drugs were added in combination, the level of interstitial glucose increased to about 1 mM, greater than with theophylline alone. With each intervention, lactate was synthesized. Local adipose tissue blood flow was increased by theophylline and theophylline plus norepinephrine. In conclusion, post-receptor mechanisms increased norepinephrine maximal stimulated lipolysis rate in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Glucose uptake was inhibited by the non-specific inhibitor of phosphodiesterase. The effect of insulin on inhibition of lipolysis was modest but sustained in the presence of high theophylline (10-4 M) concentration. Phosphodiesterase activity may be relatively low in obese subjects in comparison with lean subjects. In lean subjects theophylline caused a transient reversal of the antilipolytic effect of insulin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-368
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Adipose tissue
  • Lipolysis
  • Microdialysis
  • Obesity
  • Theophylline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology


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