Metabolism of different adipose tissues in vivo in the rat.Obes Res 1993; 1(6):459-68OR
To explore regional differences in triglyceride retention in white adipose tissues of growing male rats, the mass of adipocytes from epididymal, retroperitoneal, inguinal, and mesenteric tissues were followed with time. In order to attempt to explain regional differences, adipose tissue metabolism was studied in vivo and in vitro. (U-14C) oleic acid in sesame oil was given by gastric gavage to conscious male and female rats, and accumulation and half-life of radioactivity measured. Lipoprotein lipase activity and lipolysis were studied in vitro. Adipocyte triglyceride mass increased linearly in all the depots during 4 months of observation.The increase in mass was more pronounced in retroperitoneal (0.31 microg) and epididymal (0.30 microg) than in mesenteric (0.11 microg) or inguinal (0.05 microg) adipocytes. In the fed state label from (U-14C) oleic acid first increased with time in liver, muscle, and adipose tissues. In the liver radioactivity peaked at 4 hours, and was not measurable in either liver or muscle after a time point between 24 hours to 1 week. In contrast label continued to increase in adipose tissues up to about 16 hours to 24 hours, suggesting transfer of label by recirculation from liver and muscle to adipose tissues. Thereafter the radioactivity decreased. When expressed per adipocyte uptake of label was not significantly different between white adipose tissues. The rate of decrease between 7 days and 4 months was, however, more rapid in mesenteric and inguinal than, particularly, epididymal, and, probably, retroperitoneal adipocytes. These results were partly parallel to in vitro data on lipoprotein lipase activity, which was not different between depots, and the rate of lipolysis, which was higher in mesenteric than other adipocytes. These results suggest that differences in weight increase of adipose tissue regions are due mainly to differences in the rate of mobilization of adipocyte triglycerides. When expressed per gram triglyceride, uptake and mobilization of label were clearly more rapid in mesenteric than other white adipose tissues. This is probably explained by a combination of a higher adipocyte density plus the metabolic characteristics of adipocytes in this depot. Since mesenteric adipose tissue is smaller than the other depots studied, the absolute contribution of this tissue to the energy supply of the body is probably not different from that of other adipose tissues, however. A large uptake and short half life was observed in interscapular adipose tissue. This region contains brown adipocytes, and the results therefore suggest that lipid uptake for thermogenic purposes is of a considerable magnitude. It was concluded that among white adipose tissues, the mesenteric tissue has a rapid turnover of triglyceride. This is probably due to a combination of a high density and specific metabolic characteristics of these adipocytes. Factors in the microenvironment of adipocytes probably contribute to the high turnover either directly, or by modification of cellular characteristics.