Fatty Acid Metabolic Remodeling During Type 2 Diabetes Remission After Bariatric Surgery

Hypertrophic remodeling of white adipose tissues is associated with overexposure of lean organs to circulating triglycerides (TGs) and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs), ultimately leading to insulin resistance. Bariatric surgery promotes type 2 diabetes (T2D) remission through a succession of weight loss–dependent and –independent mechanisms. However, the longitudinal contribution of adipocyte size reduction and fatty acid metabolic handling remain unknown. Here we show that severely obese participants with T2D display hypertriglyceridemia and excessive systemic lipolysis during intravenous lipid overload. Three days after biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (DS), whole-body glycerol turnover was normalized and associated with lower HOMA–insulin resistance index. A mean excess weight loss of 84% was achieved 12 months after DS. The smaller subcutaneous adipocyte size predicted better glycemic control in T2D. TG disposal and acylcarnitine production during lipid overload, along with muscle insulin sensitivity, improved with weight loss. Nevertheless, systemic NEFA fluxes and NEFA spillover remained similar, suggesting that increased NEFA storage capacity per volume of adipose tissue exactly compensated for the decrease in fat mass during weight loss. In conclusion, T2D remission after DS is mainly associated with greater circulating TG disposal, lower systemic lipolysis, and better fatty acid handling by lean tissues.