Intraabdominal fat in humans is located in two major depots, the omental and mesenteric. We compared basal and stimulated lipolysis in adipose tissue from these two depots and the subcutaneous abdominal depot of obese women and men. Omental fat cells of women are smaller and have lower rates of basal lipolysis than in men. Basal lipolysis rates are significantly higher in subcutaneous than intraabdominal adipose tissues of both genders. In men, the incremental lipolytic response to norepinephrine is significantly greater in both intraabdominal fat depots than in the subcutaneous fat, while in women the response of the mesenteric is lower than the omental. In women, but not men, responsiveness to the beta agonist isoproterenol is also increased in omental tissue. Thus, in women, omental and mesenteric adipose tissues show distinctly different metabolic properties which may moderate the impact of intraabdominal obesity.