Relationships between exercise-induced reductions in thigh intermuscular adipose tissue, changes in lipoprotein particle size, and visceral adiposity.


Journal Article

Small LDL and HDL particle size are characteristic of a proatherogenic lipoprotein profile. Aerobic exercise increases these particle sizes. Although visceral adipose tissue (VAT) has been strongly linked with dyslipidemia, the importance of intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) to dyslipidemia and exercise responses is less well understood. We measured exercise-associated changes in thigh IMAT and VAT and examined their relationships with changes in LDL and HDL particle size. Sedentary, dyslipidemic, overweight subjects (n = 73) completed 8-9 mo of aerobic training. Linear regression models were used to compare the power of IMAT change and VAT change to predict lipoprotein size changes. In men alone (n = 40), IMAT change correlated inversely with both HDL size change (r = -0.42, P = 0.007) and LDL size change (r = -0.52, P < 0.001). That is, reduction of IMAT was associated with a shift toward larger, less atherogenic lipoprotein particles. No significant correlations were observed in women. After adding VAT change to the model, IMAT change was the only significant predictor of either HDL size change (P = 0.034 for IMAT vs. 0.162 for VAT) or LDL size change (P = 0.004 for IMAT vs. 0.189 for VAT) in men. In conclusion, in overweight dyslipidemic men, exercise-associated change in thigh IMAT was inversely correlated with both HDL and LDL size change and was more predictive of these lipoprotein changes than was change in VAT. Reducing IMAT through aerobic exercise may be functionally related to some improvements in atherogenic dyslipidemia in men.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Durheim, MT; Slentz, CA; Bateman, LA; Mabe, SK; Kraus, WE

Published Date

  • August 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 295 / 2

Start / End Page

  • E407 - E412

PubMed ID

  • 18544640

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18544640

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0193-1849

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1152/ajpendo.90397.2008


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States