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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2005 Aug;289(2):R380-R388. Epub 2005 Mar 31.

Effects of white adipose tissue grafts on total body fat and cellularity are dependent on graft type and location.

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  • 1Dept. of Biology, Georgia State University, 24 Peachtree Center Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30302-4010, USA.


Surgical removal of body fat (lipectomy) triggers compensatory increases in nonexcised white adipose tissue (WAT), thus restoring adiposity levels in many species, including Siberian hamsters. In Siberian hamsters, when their lipectomized WAT is transplanted to another site (autologous grafts, no net change in body fat), healthy grafts result, but the lipectomy-induced compensatory increases in nonexcised WAT masses are exaggerated, an effect that apparently occurs only when the grafts contact intact WAT. When WAT is added to nonlipectomized hamsters to increase body fat, native WAT pads do not decrease. Thus WAT addition or removal-replacement does not induce compensatory WAT responses consistent with total body fat regulation as does WAT subtraction. Therefore, we tested whether the exaggerated response to lipectomy occurring with autologous WAT transplantation is dependent on graft site placement and whether the donor graft source [inguinal or epididymal WAT (IWAT, EWAT), sibling vs. nonsibling] affected body fat responses to WAT additions in nonlipectomized hamsters. Lipectomized hamsters received subcutaneous autologous EWAT grafts placed remotely from other WAT (ventrum) or in contact with intact WAT (dorsum), whereas intact hamsters received EWAT or IWAT grafts from sibling or nonsibling donors. The exaggerated response to lipectomy only occurred when grafts were in contact with intact WAT. EWAT, but not IWAT, additions to nonlipectomized siblings or nonsiblings increased native IWAT and retroperitoneal WAT mass but not EWAT mass compared with controls. Collectively, WAT transplantation to either lipectomized or nonlipectomized hamsters increased body fat contingent on graft contact with intact or native WAT.

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