Measurement of precursor enrichment for calculating intramuscular triglyceride fractional synthetic rate

Xiao Jun Zhang, Noe A. Rodriguez, Lijian Wang, Demidmaa Tuvdendorj, Zhanpin Wu, Alai Tan, David N. Herndon, Robert R. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Our goal was to assess the validity of the enrichments of plasma free palmitate and intramuscular (IM) fatty acid metabolites as precursors for calculating the IM triglyceride fractional synthetic rate. We infused U- 13C16-palmitate in anesthetized rabbits for 3 h and sampled adductor muscle of legs using both freeze-cut and cut-freeze approaches. We found that IM free palmitate enrichment (0.70 ± 0.07%) was lower (P < 0.0001) than IM palmitoyl-CoA enrichment (2.13 ± 0.17%) in samples taken by the freeze-cut approach. The latter was close (P = 0.33) to IM palmitoyl-carnitine enrichment (2.42 ± 0.16%). The same results were obtained from the muscle samples taken by the cut-freeze approach, except the enrichment of palmitoyl-CoA (2.21 ± 0.08%) was lower (P = 0.02) than that of palmitoyl-carnitine (2.77 ±0.17%). Plasma free palmitate enrichment was ∼2-fold that of IM palmitoyl-CoA enrichment and palmitoyl-carnitine enrichment (P < 0.001). These findings indicate that plasma free palmitate overestimated IM precursor enrichment owing to in vivo IM lipid breakdown, whereas IM free palmitate enrichment underestimated the precursor enrichment because of lipid breakdown during muscle sampling and processing. IM palmitoyl-carnitine enrichment was an acceptable surrogate of the precursor enrichment because it was less affected by in vitro lipid breakdown after sampling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Fatty acyl-carnitine
  • Fatty acyl-coenzyme A
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Rabbits
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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