1. Local anaesthetics inhibited hormone-stimulated lipolysis in isolated rat fat-cells. The most potent anaesthetic was dibucaine, which inhibited adrenaline-stimulated lipolysis by 50% at a concentration of 0.16mm. 2. The amount of inhibition produced by a given concentration of anaesthetic was very similar with adrenaline, theophylline and dibutyryl cyclic AMP, at submaximal and maximal concentrations. 3. The inhibitory effect of dibucaine on lipolysis was apparent within 5 min and was constant over 1h. 4. Dibucaine inhibited basal, adrenaline-stimulated and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake at concentrations 6–10-fold higher than those inhibiting lipolysis. 5. The effects of dibucaine on lipolysis and glucose uptake were reversed after removal of anaesthetic and washing of cells. 6. Dibucaine further elevated the concentration of cyclic AMP in the presence of adrenaline or adrenaline plus theophylline. 7. Dibucaine had no effect on ATP content at concentrations causing 80% inhibition of lipolysis, but lowered ATP content at higher concentrations. 8. The relative potency of different local anaesthetics as inhibitors of hormone-stimulated lipolysis paralleled their potency as inhibitors of ion movements in other systems. 9. The possibility is discussed that Ca2+ions are involved in the regulation of lipolysis, and that local anaesthetics inhibit lipolysis by interfering with Ca2+translocation.

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