Context: A portion of free fatty acids (FFA) released from adipose tissue lipolysis are re-stored in adipocytes via direct uptake. Rates of direct adipose tissue FFA storage are much greater in women than men, but women also have greater systemic FFA flux and more body fat. Objective: Wetested the hypotheses that experimental increases in FFA in men would equalize the rates of direct adipose tissue FFA storage in men and women. Design: We used a lipid emulsion infusion to raise FFA in men to levels seen in post-absorptive women. Direct FFA storage (μmol·kg fat-1·min-1) rates in abdominal and femoral fat was assessed using stable isotope tracer infusions to measure FFA disappearance rates and an iv FFA radiotracer bolus/timed biopsy. Setting: These studies were performed in a Clinical Research Center. Participants: Data from 13 non-obese women was compared with that from eight obese and eight non-obese men. Intervention: The men received a lipid emulsion infusion to raise FFA. Main Outcome Measures: We measured the rates of direct FFA storage in abdominal and femoral adipose tissue. Results: The three groups were similar in age and FFA flux by design; obese men had similar body fat percentage as non-obese women. Despite matching for FFA concentrations and flux, FFA storage per kg abdominal (P < .01) and femoral (P < .001) fat was less in both lean and obese men than in non-obese women. Abdominal FFA storage rates were correlated with proteins/enzymes in the FFA uptake/triglyceride synthesis pathway in men. Conclusion: The lesser rates of direct FFA adipose tissue in men compared with women cannot be explained by reduced FFA availability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical