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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Jul;24(7):932-7.

De novo lipogenesis in adipose tissue of lean and obese women: application of deuterated water and isotope ratio mass spectrometry.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.



To evaluate the feasibility of using deuterated water and isotope ratio mass spectrometry to measure de novo fatty acid synthesis in adipose tissue, and to compare this parameter in obese and lean women.


Six lean and six obese premenopausal Caucasian women in the main study and three obese Pima Indians in a pilot study.


Deuterated water was administered orally twice daily for 14 days to create stable deuterium enrichment in body water, during which series of blood samples were collected to measure body water deuterium enrichment and deuterium incorporation into plasma total Triacylglycerol (TG) fatty acids and total cholesterol. Subcutaneous fat at different sites were sampled at the beginning and the end of deuterium administration to measure deuterium incorporation into TG fatty acids.


Fractional de novo synthesis rate of TG fatty acids in adipose tissue was 0. 014+/-0.005 and 0.014+/-0.007% in lean and obese Caucasian women, corresponding to 2+/-0.7 and 5.6+/-3.2 g (P=0.3) of fatty acids synthesized daily, respectively. Plasma TG fatty acids and cholesterol synthesis rates were comparable to those reported previously. A pilot study showed that de novo lipid synthesis in adipose tissue of obese Pima Indians was also quantitatively minor.


Human adipose tissue, like the liver, does not make a major contribution to whole body lipogenesis under eucaloric conditions. A combination of deuterated water and isotope ratio mass spectrometry is a useful research tool for studying accumulation of de novo synthesized lipids in human adipose tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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