Mitochondrial were prepared from fat-cells isolated from rat epididymal adipose tissues of fed and 48 h-starved rats to study some aspects of fatty acid oxidation in this tissue. The data were compared with values obtained in parallel experiments with liver mitochondria that were prepared and incubated under identical conditions. 2. In the presence of malonate, fluorocitrate and arsenite, malate, but not pyruvate-bicarbonate, facilitated palmitoyl-group oxidation in both types of mitochondria. In the presence of malate, fat-cell mitochondria exhibited slightly higher rates of palmitoylcarnitine oxidation than liver. Rates of octanoylcarnitine oxidation were similar in liver and fat-cell mitochondria. Uncoupling stimulated acylcarnitine oxidation in liver, but not in fat-cell mitochondria. Oxidation of palmitoyl- and octanoyl-carnitine was partially additive in fat-cell but not in liver mitochondria. Starvation for 48 h significantly decreased both palmitoylcarnitine oxidation and latent carnitine palmitoyltransferase activity in fat-cell mitochondria. Starvation increased latent carnitine palmitoyltransferase activity in liver mitochondria but did not alter palmitoylcarnitine oxidation. These results suggested that palmitoylcarnitine oxidation in fat-cell but not in liver mitochondria may be limited by carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 activity. 3. Fat-cell mitochondria also differed from liver mitochondria in exhibiting considerably lower rates of carnitine-dependent oxidation of palmitoyl-CoA or palmitate, suggesting that carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 activity may severely rate-limit palmitoyl-CoA oxidation in adipose tissue.

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