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J Clin Invest. 1972 Sep;51(9):2324-30.

Uptake of individual free fatty acids by skeletal muscle and liver in man.


Arterial-venous concentration differences for individual free fatty acids (FFA) were measured across the deep tissues of the forearm, the splanchnic vascular bed, and the kidney in healthy, postabsorptive subjects. In addition, arterial-portal venous FFA differences were determined in five patients undergoing elective cholecystectomy. The differences in fractional uptake among the individual FFA across the forearm were small and not statistically significant. Splanchnic fractional uptake was high for FFA with short chain lengths and rose with increasing degree of unsaturation. Small, negative arterial-portal venous differences for individual FFA were observed, indicating that arterial-hepatic venous FFA differences mainly reflect hepatic uptake. When the arterial FFA concentration was reduced to approximately 25% of the control values by the administration of nicotinic acid, net uptake of total FFA ceased but there was release of stearic acid and uptake of lauric, myristic, and palmitoleic acid to the splanchnic region. Muscle and liver uptakes of individual FFA were both dependent on their arterial concentrations with the exception of the splanchnic uptake of stearic acid. There was no uptake of free arachidonic acid by either muscle or liver, nor was there significant uptake of any of the free fatty acids by the kidney. It is concluded (a) that there are important quantitative differences between the net exchanges of individual FFA across the splanchnic vascular bed, (b) that tracer studies of FFA metabolism require the determination of individual FFA specific activities, (c) that palmitic and oleic acid appear to be suitable tracers for the entire FFA fraction in most instances.

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