Effect of insulin on lipolysis in adipose tissue of rats of different ages.

Cigolini M, Zancanaro C, Fezzi O, Dalle Grave R, Bertoldi P, Brunetti L, Bosello O.

Horm Metab Res. 1986 Feb;18(2):88-90.


Several authors have not been able to find any antilipolytic effect of insulin in adipose tissue “in vitro”. We investigated the possible role of cell size and/or age of donors on this phenomenon. The lipolytic rates (glycerol release per cell) were lower in the small cells of the 4-6 weeks old rats than in the larger cells of the 25-30 weeks old animals; however, the difference disappeared when the data were expressed per unit of cell surface area. Insulin (0.5-50 ng/ml) failed to inhibit both maximally and submaximally noradrenaline stimulated lipolysis in the adipocytes of the young rats, but its antilipolytic action was fully restored by using glucose-free medium. Therefore, at our experimental conditions, a glucose dependent factor, possibly involving the preferential hydrolysis of newly synthetized triglycerides, seems to blunt or to mask the insulin induced inhibition of glycerol release. Relatively higher rates of glucose metabolism and a lower lipolysis in small fat cells might explain the difference in the action of insulin on glycerol release in the adipose tissue of young rats as compared to the older ones.