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Salsalate treatment improves glycemia without altering adipose tissue in nondiabetic obese hispanics.

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Salsalate treatment has well-known effects on improving glycemia, and the objective of this study was to examine whether the mechanism of this effect was related to changes in adipose tissue.


A randomized double-blind and placebo-controlled trial in obese Hispanics (18-35 years) was conducted. The intervention consisted of 4 g day(-1) of salsalate (n = 11) versus placebo (n = 13) for 4 weeks. Outcome measures included glycemia, adiposity, ectopic fat, and adipose tissue gene expression and inflammation.


In those receiving salsalate, plasma fasting glucose decreased by 3.4% (P < 0.01), free fatty acids decreased by 42.5% (P = 0.06), and adiponectin increased by 27.7% (P < 0.01). Salsalate increased insulin AUC by 38% (P = 0.01) and HOMA-B by 47.2% (P < 0.01) while estimates of insulin sensitivity/resistance were unaffected. These metabolic improvements occurred without changes in total, abdominal, visceral, or liver fat. Plasma markers of inflammation/immune activation were unchanged following salsalate. Salsalate had no effects on adipose tissue including adipocyte size, presence of crown-like structures, or gene expression of adipokines, immune cell markers, or cytokines downstream of NF-κB with the exception of downregulation of IL-1β (P < 0.01).


Findings suggest that metabolic improvements in response to salsalate occurred without alterations in adiposity, ectopic fat, or adipose tissue gene expression and inflammation.

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