Triacylglycerol/fatty acid substrate cycling was measured in vivo in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT) of fed, starved and refed rats. Starvation (24 h) significantly decreased the rate of cycling in BAT, and refeeding chow diet led to a rapid, 6-fold increase in cycling. Cycling rate in WAT was much lower than in BAT, and was not influenced by fasting or refeeding. Similar rates of cycling were found in epididymal, mesenteric, subcutaneous, and scapular WAT depots. Sympathetic denervation of interscapular BAT abolished the response of the tissue to refeeding, as did acute suppression of insulin secretion. Similarly, rats fasted for 3 days showed no acute increase in the activity of the cycle following refeeding.

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