Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 396–403 | Cite as

Androgens, body fat Distribution and Adipogenesis

  • Mouna Zerradi
  • Julie Dereumetz
  • Marie-Michèle Boulet
  • André Tchernof
Metabolism (R Pasquali, Section Editor)


Androgens are regulators of important adipocyte functions such as adipogenesis, lipid storage, and lipolysis. Through depot-specific impact on the cells of each fat compartment, androgens could modulate body fat distribution patterns in humans. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone have been shown to inhibit the differentiation of preadipocytes to lipid-storing adipocytes in several models including primary cultures of human adipocytes from both men and women. Androgen effects have also been observed on some markers of lipid metabolism such as LPL activity, fatty acid uptake, and lipolysis. Possible depot-specific and sex-specific effects have been observed in some but not all models. Transformation of androgen precursors to active androgens or their inactivation by enzymes that are expressed and functional in adipose tissue may contribute to modulate the local availability of active hormones. These phenomena, along with putative depot-specific interactions with glucocorticoids may contribute to human body fat distribution patterns.


Adipose tissue Androgen DHT PCOS Testosterone 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Studies from our group cited in this manuscript were funded by operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to A Tchernof and Co-investigators (MOP-53195, MOP-102642 and MOP-130313).

Mouna Zerradi, Julie Dereumetz, Marie-Michèle Boulet declare that they have no conflict of interest.

André Tchernof declares research funding obtained from Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon Endosurgery) for projects on bariatric surgery, unrelated to this article.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mouna Zerradi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julie Dereumetz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie-Michèle Boulet
    • 1
    • 2
  • André Tchernof
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Endocrinology and NephrologyCHU de Quebec Research CenterQuebec City, PQCanada
  2. 2.Department of NutritionLaval UniversityQuébec CityCanada

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