The aim of this study was to determine whether the increase in lipoprotein lipase activity displayed by the adipose tissue of obese (fa/fa) rats as compared with that of lean (Fa/fa) rats could be ascribed to a change in the content or in the catalytic properties of the enzyme. The question was addressed in rats of two ages: in 7-day-old suckling and in 30-day-old post-weaning pups. Inguinal fat-pads were removed surgically (7 days of age) or after killing (30 days of age), and acetone-extract powders were prepared. The relative quantity of enzyme was assessed by immunotitration using an antiserum raised in goat against purified lipoprotein lipase from rat adipose tissue. The results indicate that increases in enzyme activity in obese animals were strictly paralleled by increases in the amount of enzyme in suckling as well as in post-weaning pups. Moreover, the apparent Km values of lipoprotein lipase for its substrate triacylglycerol were identical in the two genotypes. In conclusion, the genotype-mediated increase in lipoprotein lipase activity in adipose tissue of obese Zucker rats was fully accounted for by an increase in the content of the enzyme. In addition, this work documents the mechanism of the increase in lipoprotein lipase activity during weaning, which is mediated mainly through changes in the adipose-tissue enzyme content.

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