We studied the relationships among serum triacylglycerol (TG), fat pad weight, and lipolytic response to norepinephrine (NE) in iron-deficient rats. We used male Sprague-Dawley International Golden Standard rats. The rats were randomly divided into four groups: two iron-adequate groups for 1 week (1A) and 5 weeks (5A), and two iron-deficient groups for 1 week (1D) and 5 weeks (5D), based on the AIN-93G diet. Iron-deficient treatment caused a significant decrease in hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) values and an increase in relative heart weight in 1D and 5D rats. Although serum TG was not affected by the 1-week iron-deficient treatment, it was significantly increased by 5-week iron-deficient treatment. The 1-week iron-deficient treatment significantly decreased the relative weight of the retroperitoneal fat pads, but not that of the epididymal fat pads. On the other hand, the 5-week iron-deficient treatment significantly decreased the relative weight of both fat pads; the degree of decrease was 41% and 32% for retroperitoneal and epididymal fat pads, respectively. Basal lipolysis significantly decreased in the epididymal adipocytes from 1D rats, whereas lipolytic response to NE markedly increased. No effect due to the 5-week treatment on basal lipolysis was observed in either retroperitoneal or epididymal adipocytes. In addition, lipolytic response to NE significantly increased in the retroperitoneal, but not the epididymal adipocytes. These results demonstrate that the effects of an iron-deficient diet on fat pad weight are different, depending on the duration of the treatment and the location of fat pads. In addition, iron deficiency-caused hypertriacylglycerolmia may be predominantly related to the increase in lipolysis in retroperitoneal rather than in epididymal adipocytes. The data further show that the increase in lipolysis of epididymal adipocytes occurs in the earlier stage prior to a severe iron-deficient state.