Sampling the intramyocellular triglycerides from skeletal muscle

Z. Guo, P. Mishra, S. Macura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


To determine the extent and microanatomical distribution of extramyocellular adipocytes associated with skeletal muscle, histological, biochemical, nuclear magnetic resonance proton spectroscopic and microcomputed tomography techniques were employed to analyze skeletal muscle samples from lean and obese Sprague-Dawley rats. Significant amounts of extramyocellular adipocytes were found on the exterior surface of rat gastrocnemius, soleus, and tibialis anterior muscles. The triglyceride content of these exterior adipocytes in these muscle groups was 2- to 3-fold greater than that of the respective intramyocellular triglyceride pool (P = 0.01). Thus, the exterior adipocytes associated with skeletal muscle samples are an abundant source of extramyocellular fat potentially contaminating the intramyocellular triglyceride pool if not carefully and completely removed. On the other hand, no adipocytes were found in the interfascicular space (between muscle bundles) or the intrafascicular space (between muscle fibers) in any of the three rat muscles. The feasibility of and procedures for removing extramyocellular fat by microdissection techniques to obtain pure muscle sample were also evaluated. Complete removal of the extramyocellular adipocytes from rat skeletal muscle, using microdissection with a stereo microscope, was found to be practical and effective. It is concluded that pure muscle samples free of contamination by extramyocellular fat can be obtained, but only if microdissection techniques are utilized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001


  • Extracellular
  • Human
  • Intracellular
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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