Article

Diabetologia

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 175-182

First online:

High cerebral insulin sensitivity is associated with loss of body fat during lifestyle intervention

  • O. TschritterAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen Email author 
  • , H. PreisslAffiliated withInstitute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of TübingenDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • , A. M. HennigeAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen
  • , T. SartoriusAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen
  • , K. T. StinglAffiliated withInstitute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen
  • , M. HeniAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen
  • , C. KettererAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen
  • , N. StefanAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen
  • , J. MachannAffiliated withSection on Experimental Radiology, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Tübingen
    • , E. SchleicherAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen
    • , A. FritscheAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen
    • , H.-U. HäringAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine IV, University Hospital, University of Tübingen

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

Loss of weight and body fat are major targets in lifestyle interventions to prevent diabetes. In the brain, insulin modulates eating behaviour and weight control, resulting in a negative energy balance. This study aimed to test whether cerebral insulin sensitivity facilitates reduction of body weight and body fat by lifestyle intervention in humans.

Methods

The study was performed as an additional arm of the TUebingen Lifestyle Intervention Program (TULIP). In 28 non-diabetic individuals (14 female/14 male; mean ± SE age 42 ± 2 years; mean ± SE BMI 29.9 ± 0.8 kg/m2), we measured cerebrocortical insulin sensitivity by using magnetoencephalography before lifestyle intervention. Total and visceral fat were measured by using MRI at baseline and after 9 months and 2 years of lifestyle intervention.

Results

Insulin-stimulated cerebrocortical theta activity at baseline correlated with a reduction in total adipose tissue (r = −0.59, p = 0.014) and visceral adipose tissue (r = −0.76, p = 0.001) after 9 months of lifestyle intervention, accompanied by a statistical trend for reduction in body weight change (r = −0.37, p = 0.069). Similar results were obtained after 2 years.

Conclusions/interpretation

Our results suggest that high insulin sensitivity of the human brain facilitates loss of body weight and body fat during lifestyle intervention.

Keywords

Body fat Brain Insulin sensitivity