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BACKGROUND: The mechanisms underlying body weight evolution after diet-induced weight loss are poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify and characterize differences in the subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) transcriptome of subjects with different weight changes after energy restriction-induced weight loss during 6 mo on 4 different diets. DESIGN: After an 8-wk low-calorie diet (800 kcal/d), we randomly assigned weight-reduced obese subjects from 8 European countries to receive 4 diets that differed in protein and glycemic index content. In addition to anthropometric and plasma markers, SAT biopsies were taken at the beginning [clinical investigation day (CID) 2] and end (CID3) of the weight follow-up period. Microarray analysis was used to define SAT gene expression profiles at CID2 and CID3 in 22 women with continued weight loss (successful group) and in 22 women with weight regain (unsuccessful group) across the 4 dietary arms. RESULTS: Differences in SAT gene expression patterns between successful and unsuccessful groups were mainly due to weight variations rather than to differences in dietary macronutrient content. An analysis of covariance with total energy intake as a covariate identified 1338 differentially expressed genes. Cellular growth and proliferation, cell death, cellular function, and maintenance were the main biological processes represented in SAT from subjects who regained weight. Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation was the major pattern associated with continued weight loss. CONCLUSIONS: The ability to control body weight loss independent of energy intake or diet composition is reflected in the SAT transcriptome. Although cell proliferation may be detrimental, a greater mitochondrial energy gene expression is suggested as being beneficial for weight control. This trial was registered at as NCT00390637.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Clin Nutr

Publication Date





975 - 984


Adipose Tissue, Adult, Blood Pressure, Diet, Reducing, Energy Intake, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Gene Expression Profiling, Humans, Models, Genetic, Obesity, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, RNA, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Time Factors, Treatment Failure, Treatment Outcome, Weight Loss