Model for Measuring Absolute Rates of Hepatic De Novo Lipogenesis and Reesterification of Free Fatty Acids

Am J Physiol. 1993 Nov;265(5 Pt 1):E814-20. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1993.265.5.E814.


We have previously presented a precursor-product stable isotopic technique for measuring in vivo the fraction of very low-density lipoprotein-fatty acids (VLDL-FA) derived from de novo lipogenesis (fractional DNL). Here, we propose a technique for converting fractional DNL into absolute rates of DNL and describe its explicit underlying assumptions. The technique combines the fractional DNL method with a modification of the method of S. Klein, V. R. Young, G. L. A. Blackburn, B. R. Bistrain, and R. R. Wolfe (J. Clin. Invest. 78: 928-933, 1986), for estimating hepatic reesterification of free fatty acids (FFA). Infusions of [1,2,3,4-13C]palmitate and [1-13C]acetate are performed concurrently with indirect calorimetry in human subjects. Fractional DNL (based on mass isotopomer distribution analysis of VLDL-FA), the rate of appearance of plasma FFA (Ra of FFA), and net fat oxidation in the whole body are measured. Equations from the hepatic reesterification model, modified to include the contribution from DNL, allow calculation of absolute DNL (= fractional DNL x [Ra of FFA - net whole body fat oxidation], when respiratory quotient < 1.0). Sample results from human subjects with different dietary energy intakes are presented, with calculations of absolute DNL, absolute reesterification, and absolute fat oxidation rates. The assumptions of this technique (in particular, that all fat oxidized is derived at steady state from circulating FFA and that DNL and reesterification of FFA both occur exclusively in liver) are discussed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Acetic Acid
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Humans
  • Isotope Labeling / methods
  • Kinetics
  • Lipids / biosynthesis*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological*
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Palmitic Acids / blood
  • Palmitic Acids / metabolism


  • Acetates
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Lipids
  • Palmitic Acids
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Acetic Acid