Effects of food restriction and refeeding on adipocyte glucose metabolism in Zucker rats

Margot P Cleary, Julie K. Stenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Chronic food restriction has been shown to enhance glucose metabolism in adipocytes from lean Zucker rats at 10, 26, and 52 weeks of age compared to ad libitum-fed lean rats. Only adipocytes from food restricted 10-week-old obese rats demonstrated this response. In this study, lean and obese rats were food restricted from 5 until 14 weeks of age to determine the age at which adipocytes from obese rats were no longer affected by this intervention. Effects of 1 week of refeeding were also determined. When the rats were killed, body weights were highest in control rats followed by restricted/refed and then restricted rats within each genotype. Epididymal pad weights of lean rats were resistant to dietary intervention, while those of obese-restricted and obese-restricted/refed rats weighed less than pads of obese-control rats. Retroperitoneal pad weight was lowered by food restriction in both genotypes; but only that of lean-restricted/refed rats totally recovered with refeeding. Adipocytes of lean-restricted rats had the highest conversion of glucose to CO2. Glyceride-glycerol production was higher in obese compared to lean rats, but restricted rats had elevated conversion of glucose to fatty acids. In general, these results indicate that by 14 weeks of age obese Zucker rats no longer respond to food restriction with an elevated rate of glucose metabolism in adipocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1526
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by NIH Grant AM32965 and in part by HL08214 and the Hormel Foundation. We extend our appreciation to Ms. Ruth Morton for her maintenance of the Zucker rat colony. Serum insulin and glucose determinations were made by the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY (Core Center Grant IP30 AM26687) . Insulin was a gift from Eli Research Laboratories.


  • Adipose tissue
  • Food restriction
  • Zucker rats

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