August Krogh / CWS Seminar

Estradiol, body fat distribution and insulin sensitivity in women: Am I confused?

v/ Professor Robert C. Hickner, PhD, Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, and Physiology Director, PhD Program in Bioenergetics and Exercise Science Co-Director, Center for Health Disparities East Carolina University Greenville, NC.


Women demonstrate distinctive body fat distributions before and after menopause, and circulating estrogen status is associated with the maintenance of this adiposity patterning. Hormonal therapies and short-term exposure to gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists or antagonists can result in alterations in energy expenditure, adiposity, and lean mass. However, the influence of estrogens on region-specific adiposity and metabolism is unclear. We have found that local in-vivo exposure of subcutaneous adipose tissue to 17β-estradiol results in region-specific effects on lipolysis that may occur through both adrenergic and adrenergic-independent mechanisms to either potentiate or blunt lipolysis. There is also likely dose-dependency of these effects. Furthermore, the depot-specific estrogen receptor content may be an important underlying determinant of regional effects of estrogen in upper and lower body adipose tissue. The specific circumstances of hormonal exposure must therefore be carefully considered when making conclusions regarding the metabolic effects of estrogens.

Co Organizer

This seminar is presented in collaboration with the research programme "Physical activity and nutrition for improvement of health (CWS)" funded by the UCPH Excellence Programme for Interdisciplinary Research (2016).

Key publications for the talk

Gavin KM, Cooper EE, Raymer DK, Hickner RC. Estradiol effects on subcutaneous adipose tissue lipolysis in premenopausal women are adipose tissue depot specific and treatment dependent. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jun 1;304(11):E1167-74.

Van Pelt RE, Gozansky WS, Hickner RC, Schwartz RS, Kohrt WM. Acute modulation of adipose tissue lipolysis by intravenous estrogens. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Dec;14(12):2163-72.

Research profile

Primary research interests: Obesity, aging, exercise, nutrition, nutritive blood flow and lipolysis in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. My studies at ECU have been diverse, encompassing exercise training and nutritional interventions across the lifespan, from prepubescent children to aged individuals. My studies have focused primarily on the regulation of microcirculation and lipolysis by nitric oxide and other compounds as studied with microdialysis and tissue biopsies.

A recent publication from my lab of 17β-estradiol mediated regional differences in lipolysis in women was highlighted in the American Physiological Journal in July, 2013. My current NIH funding supports studies into the effects of obesity and exercise training on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the regulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) mediated skeletal muscle blood flow. We will continue these studies of ROS-NOS interactions in obesity with exercise, nutritional, and weight-loss interventions.


13 June 2014

12:30-13:30: Seminar and discussion
13:30-14:00: Post seminar servings and socializing


Auditorium 1, August Krogh Building, Universitetsparken 13, DK-2100 Copenhagen


Participation is free, but please register.

For PhD students

PhD students participating in August Krogh seminars receive 0,2 ECTS per seminar


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