Plasma free fatty acid storage in subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue in postabsorptive women

Christina Koutsari, Daniel A. Dumesic, Bruce W. Patterson, Susanne B. Votruba, Michael D. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE-We assessed the direct (VLDL-triglycerides [VLDL-TG] independent) storage of circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) in visceral and subcutaneous fat in postabsorptive women. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-Twelve women (BMI 29.6 ± 6.6 kg/m 2) received an identical, intravenous bolus dose of [1- 14C]oleate followed by timed subcutaneous fat biopsies (abdominal and femoral) and then omental fat biopsy during tubal ligation surgery. Regional fat masses were assessed by combining dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography scanning. Separately, we assessed the fraction of FFA tracer entering VLDL-TG over the time representing the delay in collecting omental fat. RESULTS-Site-specific fat specific activity (SA) (dpm/g lipid) decreased as a function of fat mass in both upper-body subcutaneous (UBSQ) and visceral fat depots. These patterns are consistent with dilution of a relatively fixed amount of FFA tracer within progressively greater amounts of fat. Interestingly, femoral SA did not vary as a function of lower-body subcutaneous (LBSQ) fat mass. [1- 14C]oleate storage per million LBSQ adipo-cytes was positively associated with LBSQ fat mass, but no significant relationships were observed in UBSQ or visceral fat depot. The fraction of [1- 14C]oleate stored in UBSQ, LBSQ, and visceral fat was 6.7 ± 3.2, 4.9 ± 3.4, and 1.0 ± 0.3%, respectively. Only ∼ 4% of the tracer traversed VLDL-TG over 9.5 h. CONCLUSIONS-The increase in FFA tracer storage per adi-pocyte as a function of LBSQ fat mass implies that LBSQ adipocytes, in contrast to UBSQ and omental adipocytes, store more FFA in women with greater adiposity. The direct FFA storage pathway might play a role in favoring lower-body fat accumulation in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1194
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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