Assessment of fatty acid beta oxidation in cells and isolated mitochondria

Curr Protoc Toxicol. 2014 May 27;60:25.3.1-19. doi: 10.1002/0471140856.tx2503s60.


Fatty acid beta oxidation is a major pathway of energy metabolism and occurs primarily in mitochondria. Drug-induced modulation of this pathway can cause adverse effects such as liver injury, or be beneficial for treating heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Hence, in vitro assays that are able to identify compounds that affect fatty acid oxidation are of value for toxicity assessments, as well as for efficacy assessments. Here, we describe two high-throughput assays, one for assessing fatty acid oxidation in cells and the other for assessing fatty acid oxidation in isolated rat liver mitochondria. Both assays measure fatty acid-driven oxygen consumption and can be used for rapid and robust screening of compounds that modulate fatty acid oxidation.

Keywords: cells; fatty acid beta oxidation; mitochondria; oxygen consumption.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Rats


  • Fatty Acids