Effects of refeeding on adipocyte metabolism in the rat

Int J Obes. 1980;4(1):11-9.


Glucose metabolism in fat cells from fasted-refed rats and ad-libitum-fed controls were studied in the postabsorptive state. Two types of experiments were performed. First, each rat donated one epididymal fat pad and the metabolic results were expressed in relation to the number and size of fat cells of these tissues. Second, the other epididymal fat pad in the rats in each experimental group was pooled for experiments in duplicate where liberated fat cells were separated in fat-cell size classes, which enabled comparisons of metabolic activities at the same fat-cell size. Glucose incorporation into carbon dioxide and triglyceride glycerol and fatty acids were about equally elevated in absolute terms in the refed rats. In relative terms the increase was much more pronounced in carbon dioxide and fatty acids because these activities were very low in control rats. These results confirm previous results showing elevated metabolism after fasting-refeeding, and also demonstrate that this is an adaptation of fat-cell metabolism rather than a consequence of a higher cellular density of adipose tissue after fasting-refeeding with smaller fat cells. Adaptations of metabolism after fasting-refeeding might be of potential importance for elucidation of the cause of the rapid relapse after weight decrease of obese subjects with diminished fat-cell size.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Fasting*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Rats
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Glucose