Lipid Res. 2017 58:(1) 289-298. First Published on November 14, 2016, doi:10.1194/jlr.D072298
There are two types of fat tissues, white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT), which essentially perform opposite functions in whole body energy metabolism. There is a large interest in identifying novel biophysical properties of WAT and BAT by a quantitative and easy-to-run technique. In this work, we used high-resolution pulsed field gradient diffusion NMR spectroscopy to study the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of fat molecules in rat BAT and WAT samples. The ADC of fat in BAT and WAT from rats fed with a chow diet was compared with that of rats fed with a high-fat diet to monitor how the diffusion properties change due to obesity-associated parameters such as lipid droplet size, fatty acid chain length, and saturation. Feeding a high-fat diet resulted in increased saturation, increased chain lengths, and reduced ADC of fat in WAT. The ADC of fat was lower in BAT relative to WAT in rats fed both chow and high-fat diets. Diffusion of fat was restricted in BAT due to the presence of small multilocular lipid droplets. Our findings indicate that in vivo diffusion might be a potential way for better delineation of BAT and WAT in both lean and obese states.
Keywords: adipose tissue; brown adipose tissue; diffusion spectroscopy; fat; high-fat diet; lipid droplet; magnetic resonance; white adipose tissue.
This work was supported by the intramural funding of the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, A*STAR, Singapore