Examination of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 abundance in white adipose tissue: implications in obesity research

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Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) is essential for the transport of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria for oxidation. Recently, it was reported that decreased CPT1b mRNA in adipose tissue was a contributing factor for obesity in rats. We therefore closely examined the expression level of in adipose tissue from mice, rats, and humans. is the predominate isoform in adipose tissue from all three species. Rat white adipose tissue has a moderate amount of mRNA, but it is very minor compared with expression in muscle. Total CPT1 activity in adipose tissue is also minor relative to other tissues. Both and mRNA were increased in gonadal fat but not inguinal fat by diet-induced obesity in mice. We also measured and expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue from human subjects with a wide range of body mass indexes (BMIs). Interestingly, expression positively correlated with BMI ( = 0.46), but there was no correlation with ( = 0.04). Our findings indicate that white adipose tissue fatty acid oxidation capacity is minor compared with that of metabolically active tissues. Furthermore, given the already low abundance of in white adipose tissue, it is unlikely that decreases in its expression can quantitatively decrease whole body energy expenditure enough to contribute to an obese phenotype.

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American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology

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