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Journal Article

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Obesity: A Research Journal





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Visceral adiposity is strongly associated with insulin resistance; however, little evidence directly demonstrates that visceral fat per se impairs insulin action. Here, we examine the effects of the surgical removal of the greater omentum and its occupying visceral fat, an omentectomy (OM), on insulin sensitivity (SI) and β-cell function in nonobese dogs. Thirteen male mongrel dogs were used in this research study; animals were randomly assigned to surgical treatment with either OM (n = 7), or sham-surgery (SHAM) (n = 6). OM failed to generate measurable changes in body weight (+2%; P = 0.1), or subcutaneous adiposity (+3%; P = 0.83) as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The removal of the greater omentum did not significantly reduce total visceral adipose volume (−7.3 ± 6.4%; P = 0.29); although primary analysis showed a trend for OM to increase SI when compared to sham operated animals (P = 0.078), further statistical analysis revealed that this minor reduction in visceral fat alleviated insulin resistance by augmenting SI of the periphery (+67.7 ± 35.2%; P = 0.03), as determined by the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. Insulin secretory response during the hyperglycemic step clamp was not directly influenced by omental fat removal (presurgery 6.82 ± 1.4 vs. postsurgery: 6.7 ± 1.2 pmol/l/mg/dl, P = 0.9). These findings provide new evidence for the deleterious role of visceral fat in insulin resistance, and suggest that a greater OM procedure may effectively improve insulin sensitivity.

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This is the accepted version of the article which has been published in final form at


At the time of publication, author Darko Stefanovski was affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Currently, he is a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.



Date Posted: 22 December 2016

This document has been peer reviewed.