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J Lipid Res. 1979 Feb;20(2):208-16.

Inhibition of epinephrine-induced lipolysis in isolated white adipocytes of aging rabbits by increased alpha-adrenergic responsiveness.


The aim of this study was to explain the unresponsiveness of rabbit perirenal adipose tissue to epinephrine. The in vitro lipolytic response to isoproterenol and to epinephrine alone or associated with alpha- or beta-adrenergic blocking agents, was studied in the adipocytes of rabbits of various ages. Epinephrine induces a large glycerol release in young rabbit adipocytes whereas an increase in the rate of lipolysis cannot be shown with adult rabbit fat cells. Moreover, an antilipolytic effect can be shown for low concentrations of epinephrine when the basal rate of lipolysis is high in older rabbit adipocytes. Isoproterenol (beta-adrenomimetic) always exerts a strong adipokinetic effect, thus revealing functional beta-receptor sites. The blockade of alpha-adreneoceptor sites by phentolamine, which has no effect on young rabbits, abolishes the antilipolytic effect and unmasks strong lipolytic effect of epinephrine on aged and normal rabbit adipocytes. The loss of beta-adrenergic responsiveness towards epinephrine in the aging rabbit is linked to the involvement of an increased alpha-adrenergic responsiveness. The stimulation of alpha receptor sites by epinephrine leads to a depressive effect on lipolysis (lack of adipokinetic effect or antilipolytic action).

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