Duodenal adipose tissue is associated with obesity in baboons (Papio sp): a novel site of ectopic fat deposition in non-human primates
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Ectopic fat is a recognized contributor to insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction, while the role of fat deposition inside intestinal wall tissue remains understudied. We undertook this study to directly quantify and localize intramural fat deposition in duodenal tissue and determine its association with adiposity.
Duodenal tissues were collected from aged (21.2 ± 1.3 years, 19.5 ± 3.1 kg, n = 39) female baboons (Papio sp.). Fasted blood was collected for metabolic profiling and abdominal circumference (AC) measurements were taken. Primary tissue samples were collected at the major duodenal papilla at necropsy: one full cross section was processed for hematoxylin and eosin staining and evaluated; a second full cross section was processed for direct chemical lipid analysis on which percentage duodenal fat content was calculated.
Duodenal fat content obtained by direct tissue quantification showed considerable variability (11.95 ± 6.93%) and was correlated with AC (r = 0.60, p < 0.001), weight (r = 0.38, p = 0.02), leptin (r = 0.63, p < 0.001), adiponectin (r = − 0.32, p < 0.05), and triglyceride (r = 0.41, p = 0.01). The relationship between duodenal fat content and leptin remained after adjusting for body weight and abdominal circumference. Intramural adipocytes were found in duodenal sections from all animals and were localized to the submucosa. Consistent with the variation in tissue fat content, the submucosal adipocytes were non-uniformly distributed in clusters of varying size. Duodenal adipocytes were larger in obese vs. lean animals (106.9 vs. 66.7 µm2, p = 0.02).
Fat accumulation inside the duodenal wall is strongly associated with adiposity and adiposity related circulating biomarkers in baboons. Duodenal tissue fat represents a novel and potentially metabolically active site of ectopic fat deposition.
KeywordsNon human primates Baboons Insuline resistance Ectopic fat deposition Adipose tissue Duodenum Gastrointestinal tract
These studies were supported by CAPES and the NIH grants P51 RR013986 and C06 RR014578.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Human and animal rights
This research was undertaken in compliance with the “Principles of laboratory animal care” (NIH publication No. 86-23, revised 1985), as well as with the National Guidelines and the American Society of Primatologists principles for ethical treatment of Non-Human Primates.
For this type of study formal consent is not required.
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