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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2008 May;294(5):R1445-52. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00068.2008. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

Differential sympathetic drive to adipose tissues after food deprivation, cold exposure or glucoprivation.

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  • 1Department of Morphophysiological Sciences, State University of Maringá, Maringá, PR Brazil.


Surplus energy is principally stored in white adipose tissue (WAT) as triacylglycerol and mobilized via lipolysis through norepinephrine (NE) released from sympathetic nervous system terminals innervating WAT. We demonstrated that central melanocortin receptor agonism provokes differential sympathetic drives across WAT pads and interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT). Here we tested for differential WAT and IBAT sympathetic drive to known lipolytic stimuli {glucoprivation [2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG)], cold exposure (5 degrees C), food deprivation (16 h), or both cold exposure and food deprivation} by measuring NE turnover (NETO). Only inguinal WAT NETO significantly increased across all stimuli. Dorsal subcutaneous WAT NETO only increased with glucoprivation. Retroperitoneal WAT NETO increased with glucoprivation, cold and cold + food deprivation, but not by food deprivation. Epididymal WAT NETO was unaffected by glucoprivation but increased with cold, cold + food deprivation or food deprivation, but to a small significant degree. IBAT NETO was unaffected by glucoprivation or food deprivation, but increased with cold and cold + food deprivation. Plasma glucose decreased with food deprivation and increased with 2-DG administration or cold exposure. Plasma glycerol was increased with food deprivation, cold, and their combination but not with 2-DG, whereas plasma free fatty acids increased with food deprivation, cold + food deprivation, and 2-DG. These data show differential sympathetic drive to WAT and BAT for four different lipolytic stimuli, exemplifying the fat pad-specific pattern of WAT sympathetic drive across lipid-mobilizing conditions and emphasizing the need to analyze multiple adipose depots for measures of NETO and likely most measures.

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