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J Anim Sci. 2006 Apr;84 Suppl:E94-104.

Stable isotope methods for the in vivo measurement of lipogenesis and triglyceride metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.


Synthesis of fatty acids (via de novo lipogenesis) and triglycerides are important factors in fat accumulation and the efficiency of animal production. Recently, new stable isotope methods using heavy water (2H2O) have made possible the safe, and relatively easy, measurement of both of these processes in vivo in animals and humans over prolonged periods. These methods also provide information on the relative contribution of glycolysis and glyceroneogenesis to triglyceride synthesis under different physiological settings. The data suggest that numerous dietary factors, including nutrient composition and caloric content, may affect de novo lipogenesis. Significant differences in de novo lipogenesis have also been seen across species and in different tissues. The rates of triglyceride synthesis have been shown to be affected by diet and to differ significantly between different adipose depots, with metabolically active depots (e.g., visceral fat) having much more rapid triglyceride turnover than subcutaneous depots. Dietary fat and the peroxisome proliferator-activated-gamma agonist rosiglitazone have both been shown to influence triglyceride synthesis rates and to increase glyceroneogenesis. A significant portion of triglyceride synthesis is not related to triglyceride accumulation but rather is secondary to active lipolysis and reesterification. The application of these new techniques to animals other than rodents will undoubtedly enhance our understanding of adipose tissue biology and could lead to new methods for improving animal production.

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