Water content of rat adipose tissue and isolated adipocytes in relation to cell size

Am J Physiol. 1976 Nov;231(5 Pt. 1):1568-72. doi: 10.1152/ajplegacy.1976.231.5.1568.


Epididymal adipose tissue composition and adipocyte water content were studied in male rats during growth and development of spontaneous obesity. The data show that a highly significant positive correlation exists between fat-cell volume and intracellular water space (IWS) (r=.967, P less than .001). Intracellular water, expressed as picoliters per fat cell, varied from 1.5-2 in small fat cells (mean vol, 30-50 pl) to 9-10 in large cells (800-1,000 pl). When expressed as percent of fat-cell volume, IWS varied from 5-7% in the small fat cells to 1-1.3% in the large ones. Total adipose tissue water continued to increase with increasing adipose mass. Similarly, total adipocyte water increased with enlarging cell size and tissue mass. The contribution of total adipocyte water (as contrasted to that of nonadipocyte water) to total tissue water, however, was found to be limited (less than 23%) and to decline progressively with adipose mass expansion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Body Fluids / metabolism*
  • Epididymis
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Rats