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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jan;290(1):E87-E91.

Differences in transport of fatty acids and expression of fatty acid transporting proteins in adipose tissue of obese black and white women.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA.


We have reported that the rate of de novo triglyceride (TG) synthesis by omental, but not subcutaneous, adipose tissue was higher in African-American women (AAW) than in Caucasian women (CAW). The purpose of this study was to explore the potential mechanisms underlying this increase. Toward that end, we determined the activities of key enzymes in the pathway of TG synthesis, the rates of uptake of fatty acids by adipocytes, mRNA and protein levels of the fatty acid-transporting proteins FAT/CD36 and FATP, and mRNA and protein levels of PPARgamma in omental fat of AAW and CAW. The results showed 1) no difference in the activity of phosphofructokinase, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, or diacylglycerol acyltransferase; 2) a higher rate of fatty acid uptake by adipocytes of the AAW; 3) an increase in the mRNA and protein levels of CD36 and FATP4 in the fat of the AAW; and 4) an increase in the mRNA and protein levels of PPARgamma, which can stimulate the expression of CD36 and FATP. These results suggest that the increase in the transport of fatty acid, which is mediated by the overexpression of the transport proteins in the omental adipose tissue of the AAW, might contribute to the higher prevalence of obesity in AAW.

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