BRL 26830 is a thermogenic β-adrenoceptor agonist which stimulates lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in vivo. It also stimulates insulin secretion, and hence promotes glucose utilisation in vivo. The effect of this agent on white and brown adipose tissue of the rat was investigated. BRL 26830 increased the rate of fatty acid synthesis in vivo in white adipose tissue by 135% but reduced the rate of fatty acid synthesis in vivo in brown adipose tissue by 78%. The increase was abolished in white adipose tissue of streptozotocin-diabetic rats, indicating that the effect involved a rise in circulating insulin levels. The reduction in fatty acid synthesis in brown adipose tissues was associated with a reduction in the activity of acetyl-CoA carboxylase in the tissue consistent with a direct β-adrenoceptor-mediated effect. BRL 26830 also increased the proportion of pyruvate dehydrogenase in its active form in vivo in brown adipose tissue and this increase was abolished in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. These findings illustrate different sensitivities of white and brown adipose tissues to combined β-adrenergic and insulin stimulation.

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