Body composition determines direct FFA storage pattern in overweight women

E. Søndergaard, L. C. Gormsen, B. Nellemann, M. D. Jensen, S. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Direct FFA storage in adipose tissue is a recently appreciated pathway for post-absorptive lipid storage. We evaluated the effect of body fat distribution on direct FFA storage in women with different obesity pheno-types. Twenty-eight women [10 upper body overweight/obese (UBO; WHR >0.85, BMI >28 kg/m 2), 11 lower body overweight/obese (LBO; WHR <0.80, BMI >28 kg/m 2), and 7 lean (BMI <25 kg/m 2)] received an intravenous bolus dose of [9,10- 3H]palmitate- and [1- 14C]triolein-labeled VLDL tracer followed by upper body subcutaneous (UBSQ) and lower body subcutaneous (LBSQ) fat biopsies. Regional fat mass was assessed by combining DEXA and CT scanning. We report greater fractional storage of FFA in UBSQ fat in UBO women compared with lean women (P < 0.01). The LBO women had greater storage per 10 6 fat cells in LBSQ adipocytes compared with UBSQ adipocytes (P = 0.04), whereas the other groups had comparable storage in UBSQ and LBSQ adipocytes. Fractional FFA storage was significantly associated with fractional VLDL-TG storage in both UBSQ (P < 0.01) and LBSQ (P = 0.03) adipose tissue. In conclusion, UBO women store a greater proportion of FFA in the UBSQ depot compared with lean women. In addition, LBO women store FFA more efficiently in LBSQ fat cells compared with UBSQ fat cells, which may play a role in development of their LBO phenotype. Finally, direct FFA storage and VLDL-TG fatty acid storage are correlated, indicating they may share a common rate-limiting pathway for fatty acid storage in adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1599-E1604
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2012


  • Free fatty acid
  • Free fatty acid storage
  • Obesity
  • Very-low-density lipoprotein-triglyceride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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