Lipid metabolism in the adipose tissues of a carnivore, the raccoon dog, during prolonged fasting

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2007 Jan;232(1):58-69.


Previous studies on laboratory rodents, rabbits, and humans have demonstrated that adipose tissue fatty acid (FA) mobilization is selective, and its efficiency is related to the molecular structure of FAs. This study was undertaken to find out whether such preferences of FA mobilization are a general feature of mammalian white adipose tissue (WAT) and are also manifested in carnivores. Fractional mobilization of a wide spectrum of FAs was studied by gas-liquid chromatography from six subcutaneous (scapular, rump, ventral) and intra-abdominal (omental, mesenteric, retroperitoneal) WAT depots of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) fed or fasted for 2 months. Fasting stimulated the mobilization of shorter-chain saturated, mono-unsaturated (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs). The effects of unsaturation and the position of the first double bond from the methyl end were more inconsistent. The effect of double-bond position may be due to chain shortening of longer-chain MUFAs and preferential utilization of n-3 PUFAs over n-6 PUFAs. Moreover, there were site-specific differences in fractional mobilization, the omental adipose tissue being the most divergent. The in vivo FA mobilization from the regional WAT depots of a carnivore was selective, and the molecular structure of the FA affected its efficiency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fasting / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Lipid Mobilization*
  • Raccoon Dogs / metabolism*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids