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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2001 Jan;25(1):15-28.

The regulation of total body fat: lessons learned from lipectomy studies.

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Department of Biology and the Neurobiology and Behavior Program, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083, USA.


Surgical removal of body fat (partial lipectomy) is a means of directly reducing fat such that metabolic and behavioral responses can be readily attributed to the lipid deficit. If total body fat is regulated, then lipectomy should trigger compensatory increases in nonexcised white adipose tissue (WAT) mass and/or regrowth at excision sites. Many species, including laboratory rats and mice, show lipectomy-induced compensatory recovery of body fat. Those animals exhibiting naturally occurring annual adiposity cycles, such as ground squirrels and hamsters, do so most impressively reaching seasonally appropriate body fat levels indistinguishable from controls. Reparation of the lipid deficit occurs without an increase in food intake, and generally through enlargement of non-excised WAT mass, rather than regrowth of excised WAT. A body fat regulatory system involving humoral and sensory neural inputs to the brain as well as sympathetic neural outputs from brain to adipose tissue is presented. Collectively, the lipectomy model appears useful for testing mechanisms controlling adiposity, or individual depot growth, and offers insight into how lipid stores fluctuate naturally.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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