Men and post-menopausal women are at greater risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes than younger women. In obese rodent models, males exhibit profound adipose tissue macrophage (ATM) accumulation in gonadal white adipose tissue (GWAT) linked to insulin resistance, while females are protected even with enhanced adiposity. We hypothesize that these inflammatory differences may be a result of altered lipolysis responses and that females would have enhanced ATM accumulation when lipolysis is induced. Lipolysis was stimulated with a beta3 adrenergic receptor (ADRB3) agonist CL-316, 243 in C57Bl6/j male and female mice fed 16 weeks of 60% high fat diet (HFD). GWAT leukocytes were isolated after 18 h and evaluated by flow cytometry. Lipogenic, lipolytic, oxidative and inflammatory gene expression along with immunofluorescence were performed. ADRB3 activation did not alter adipose tissue weights, but significantly reduced liver weights in obese females. Obese CL treated female mice showed elevated serum free fatty acid (FFA) and triglyceride (TG) levels compared to levels induced in males. Lipid overload impaired TG storage and utilization genes- Lpl, Fasn, Acsl1, Hsl, and Glut4 expression in obese females. Lipolysis promoted appearance of crown like structures (CLS) in males and females but only induced Il6 proinflammatory cytokine and Mcp1 chemokine expression in obese female GWAT. Activated lipolysis triggered CD11c- ATM accumulation in lean females but in both obese male and female GWAT. Obese males showed a marked reduction in GWAT dendritic cells (DC) but a significant reduction in both GWAT and inguinal WAT DCs of obese females. While obese females are resistant to inflammation, this study shows that induced lipolysis elevates FFA levels, alters lipid metabolism and increased CD11c- ATMs and CLSs in obese females. Elucidating the link between lipolysis and inflammation can better explain sex differences in overall metabolic health leading to targeted treatment strategies.


M. Varghese: None. S. Abrishami: None. K. Singer: None.

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