Obesity with dysfunctional adipose cells is the major cause of the current epidemic of type 2 diabetes (T2D). We examined senescence in human adipose tissue cells from age- and BMI-matched individuals who were lean, obese, and obese with T2D. In obese individuals and, more pronounced, those with T2D, we found mature and fully differentiated adipose cells to exhibit increased senescence similar to what we previously have shown in the progenitor cells. The degree of adipose cell senescence was positively correlated with whole-body insulin resistance and adipose cell size. Adipose cell protein analysis revealed dysfunctional cells in T2D with increased senescence markers reduced PPAR-γ, GLUT4, and pS473AKT. Consistent with a recent study, we found the cell cycle regulator cyclin D1 to be increased in obese cells and further elevated in T2D cells, closely correlating with senescence markers, ambient donor glucose, and, more inconsistently, plasma insulin levels. Furthermore, fully differentiated adipose cells were susceptible to experimentally induced senescence and to conditioned medium increasing cyclin D1 and responsive to senolytic agents. Thus, fully mature human adipose cells from obese individuals, particularly those with T2D become senescent, and SASP secretion by senescent progenitor cells can play an important role in addition to donor hyperinsulinemia.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.20536680.

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