We evaluated palmitate rate of appearance (R(a)) in plasma during basal conditions and during a four-stage epinephrine infusion plus pancreatic hormonal clamp in nine white and nine black women with abdominal obesity, who were matched on fat-free mass, total and percent body fat, and waist-to-hip circumference ratio. On the basis of singleslice magnetic resonance imaging analysis, black women had the same amount of subcutaneous abdominal fat but less intra-abdominal fat than white women (68 ± 9 vs. 170 ± 14 cm2, P < 0.05). Basal palmitate R(a) was lower in black than in white women (1.95 ± 0.26 vs. 2.88 ± 0.23 μmol · kg fat-free mass-1 · min-1, P < 0.005), even though plasma insulin and catecholamine concentrations were the same in both groups. Palmitate R(a) across a physiological range of plasma epinephrine concentrations remained lower in black women, because the increase in palmitate R(a) during epinephrine infusion was the same in both groups. We conclude that basal and epinephrine-stimulated palmitate R(a) is lower in black than in white women with abdominal obesity. The differences in basal palmitate kinetics are not caused by alterations in plasma insulin or catecholamine concentrations or lipolytic sensitivity to epinephrine. The lower rate of whole body fatty acid flux and smaller intra-abdominal fat mass may have clinical benefits because of the relationship between excessive fatty acid availability and metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R944-R950
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3 48-3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Adipose tissue
  • Catecholamine
  • Fatty acid
  • Lipoiysis
  • Stable isotopes


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