Plasma NEFA storage in adipose tissue in the postprandial state: Sex-related and regional differences

C. Koutsari, C. L.H. Snozek, M. D. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Aims/hypothesis: We recently reported that a small fraction of circulating NEFA is stored through direct uptake in subcutaneous fat in postabsorptive humans in vivo and that this pathway may favour lower-body fat distribution in women. Here, we examined sex-related and regional differences in storage of plasma NEFA in subcutaneous adipose tissue during postprandial conditions. Methods: At 1 h after lunch, men and women of normal weight received an intravenous bolus of ∼1.66 MBq [1-14C]oleate followed by timed subcutaneous fat biopsies. The preceding breakfast was either a normal- or high-fat meal; the high-fat breakfast was used to create postprandial oleate concentrations in the postabsorptive range. Results: Storage of the NEFA tracer in adipose tissue (dpm/g lipid) was greater in women; in both sexes abdominal fat stored tracer more avidly than femoral fat. A greater fraction of the administered tracer was stored in whole body subcutaneous fat of women than in that of men (27±3 vs 8±1%, respectively, p<0.0001). No significant differences in tracer storage were observed between participants consuming the high- vs normal-fat breakfast. Conclusions/interpretation: Postprandial NEFA storage in subcutaneous fat through direct uptake accounts for ∼25% of NEFA disposal in women, but for <10% in men in a wide range of circulating NEFA concentrations. It is greater in the upper- than lower-body subcutaneous fat, favouring upper-body fat accumulation in both sexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2041-2048
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Abdominal
  • Adipose blood flow
  • Femoral
  • Oleate tracer
  • Subcutaneous
  • Triacylglycerol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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