Fat depot origin affects fatty acid handling in cultured rat and human preadipocytes

Frank Caserta, Tamara Tchkonia, Vildan N. Civelek, Marc Prentki, Nicholas F. Brown, J. Denis McGarry, R. Armour Forse, Barbara E. Corkey, James A. Hamilton, James L. Kirkland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Regional differences in free fatty acid (FFA) handling contribute to diseases associated with particular fat distributions. As cultured rat preadipocytes became differentiated, FFA transfer into preadipocytes increased and was more rapid in single perirenal than in epididymal cells matched for lipid content. Uptake by human omental preadipocytes was greater than uptake by abdominal subcutaneous preadipocytes. Adipose-specific fatty acid binding protein (aP2) and keratinocyte lipid binding protein abundance was higher in differentiated rat perirenal than in epididymal preadipocytes. This interdepot difference in preadipocyte aP2 expression was reflected in fat tissue in older animals. Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 activity increased during differentiation and was higher in perirenal than in epididymal preadipocytes, particularly the muscle isoform. Long-chain acyl-CoA levels were higher in perirenal than in epididymal preadipocytes and isolated fat cells. These data are consistent with interdepot differences in fatty acid flux ensuing from differences in fatty acid binding proteins and enzymes of fat metabolism. Heterogeneity among depots results, in part, from distinct intrinsic characteristics of adipose cells. Different depots are effectively separate miniorgans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E238-E247
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2 43-2
StatePublished - Feb 2001


  • Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1
  • Fatty acid binding protein
  • Free fatty acid uptake
  • Regional fat distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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