Lipidomic Adaptations in White and Brown Adipose Tissue in Response to Exercise Demonstrate Molecular Species-Specific Remodeling

Cell Rep. 2017 Feb 7;18(6):1558-1572. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.01.038.


Exercise improves whole-body metabolic health through adaptations to various tissues, including adipose tissue, but the effects of exercise training on the lipidome of white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT) are unknown. Here, we utilize MS/MSALL shotgun lipidomics to determine the molecular signatures of exercise-induced adaptations to subcutaneous WAT (scWAT) and BAT. Three weeks of exercise training decrease specific molecular species of phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphatidylcholines (PC), phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), and phosphatidylserines (PS) in scWAT and increase specific molecular species of PC and PE in BAT. Exercise also decreases most triacylglycerols (TAGs) in scWAT and BAT. In summary, exercise-induced changes to the scWAT and BAT lipidome are highly specific to certain molecular lipid species, indicating that changes in tissue lipid content reflect selective remodeling in scWAT and BAT of both phospholipids and glycerol lipids in response to exercise training, thus providing a comprehensive resource for future studies of lipid metabolism pathways.

Keywords: adipose tissue; exercise; lipidomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phosphatidic Acids / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylcholines / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Phosphatidic Acids
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines
  • Phosphatidylserines
  • Phospholipids
  • Triglycerides