Systemic and Forearm Triglyceride Metabolism: Fate of Lipoprotein Lipase-Generated Glycerol and Free Fatty Acids

John M. Miles, Yongsoon S. Park, Dorota Walewicz, Crystal Russell-Lopez, Sheryl Windsor, William L. Isley, Simon W. Coppack, William S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Little is known about the fate of the lipolytic products produced by the action of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) on circulating triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in humans. We studied eight lean, healthy male subjects after an overnight fast. Subjects received infusions of lipid emulsions containing triolein labeled with 3H on both the glycerol backbone and the fatty acid portion of the molecule; 14C glycerol and 14C oleate were coinfused to quantify the systemic and forearm release of 3H glycerol and 3H oleate resulting from LPL action. There was significant forearm uptake of both whole plasma triglyceride (presumed to represent primarily VLDL; extraction fraction 2.6 ± 0.6%, P < 0.005 vs. zero) and radiolabeled triglyceride derived from the lipid emulsion (a surrogate for chylomicrons; extraction fraction 31 ± 4%, P < 0.005 vs zero). Systemic clearance and forearm fractional extraction of glycerol was greater than that of oleate (P < 0.001 and P < 0.02, respectively). The systemic and forearm fractional release of LPL-generated glycerol were similar at 51 ± 4 and 59 ± 1%, respectively (NS). In contrast, the forearm fractional release of LPL-generated oleate was less than systemic fractional release (14 ± 2 vs. 36 ± 4%, P < 0.0001). These results indicate that there is escape, or spillover, of the lipolytic products of LPL action on triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in humans. They further suggest that LPL-mediated fatty acid uptake is an inefficient process, but may be more efficient in muscle than in adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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