Determination of lipolysis in isolated primary adipocytes

Methods Mol Biol. 2008;456:299-306. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-245-8_22.


Lipolysis involves the sequential breakdown of triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol. The extent of lipolysis is therefore a key determinant of the energy status of an individual and also dictates insulin resistance. Here, we describe a protocol for estimating lipolysis in murine adipocytes. Glycerol released during the lipolytic reaction is estimated radiometrically to determine the extent of lipolysis within the cell and the data are normalized to cell number.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Lipolysis*
  • Mice
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Triglycerides
  • Glycerol