Scapular brown fat removal enhances development of adiposity in cold-exposed obese Zucker rats

J. S. Stern, T. Inokuchi, T. W. Castonguay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate the contribution of brown fat (BAT) to the development of obesity in genetically obese Zucker rats (fa/fa), scapular brown fat (SBAT) was removed from obese and lean 4-wk-old females. Eight weeks after surgery there was no regrowth of SBAT. Lipectomy had no effect on body weight gain, food intake, and body composition when rats were housed at 25°C. Lean rats completely compensated for the lipectomy by increasing BAT mass, protein, cellularity, and activity of citrate synthase (CS) in axillary, perirenal, and thoracic depots. β-Hydroxyacetyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase (HOAD) activity was increased, but compensation was incomplete. In lipectomized obese rats, only BAT protein and cell number were increased sufficiently for complete compensation. In a second experiment SBAT was removed from obese and lean rats, but rats were housed in the cold (10° C) for 8 wk. In lean rats, although compensation was incomplete, it was sufficient to maintain a weight gain and body composition comparable with sham-operated lean rats. In obese rats, where there was little or no compensation for lipectomy, weight gain and fat deposition were greater than observed in sham-operated obese controls. These data support the hypothesis that reducing the amount of functional BAT contributes to the development of increased adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Scapular brown fat removal enhances development of adiposity in cold-exposed obese Zucker rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this