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Nat Med. 2019 Sep;25(9):1385-1389. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0565-5. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

Adipose lipid turnover and long-term changes in body weight.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. peter.arner@ki.se.
2
Institut Camille Jordan, CNRS UMR5208, University of Lyon, Villeurbanne, France.
3
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
4
Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
5
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ion Physics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
6
Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
7
Department of Surgery, Ersta Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
8
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. kirsty.spalding@ki.se.
9
Department of Medicine, Integrated Cardio Metabolic Center, Stockholm, Sweden. kirsty.spalding@ki.se.

Abstract

The worldwide obesity epidemic1 makes it important to understand how lipid turnover (the capacity to store and remove lipids) regulates adipose tissue mass. Cross-sectional studies have shown that excess body fat is associated with decreased adipose lipid removal rates2,3. Whether lipid turnover is constant over the life span or changes during long-term weight increase or loss is unknown. We determined the turnover of fat cell lipids in adults followed for up to 16 years, by measuring the incorporation of nuclear bomb test-derived 14C in adipose tissue triglycerides. Lipid removal rate decreases during aging, with a failure to reciprocally adjust the rate of lipid uptake resulting in weight gain. Substantial weight loss is not driven by changes in lipid removal but by the rate of lipid uptake in adipose tissue. Furthermore, individuals with a low baseline lipid removal rate are more likely to remain weight-stable after weight loss. Therefore, lipid turnover adaptation might be important for maintaining pronounced weight loss. Together these findings identify adipose lipid turnover as an important factor for the long-term development of overweight/obesity and weight loss maintenance in humans.

PMID:
31501613
DOI:
10.1038/s41591-019-0565-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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