High-altitude acclimation increases the triacylglycerol/fatty acid cycle at rest and during exercise
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High-altitude acclimation alters lipid metabolism during exercise, but it is unknown whether this involves changes in rates of lipolysis or reesterification, which form the triacylglycerol/fatty acid (TAG/FA) cycle. We combined indirect calorimetry with [2-(3)H]glycerol and [1-(14)C]palmitate infusions to simultaneously measure total lipid oxidation, lipolysis, and rate of appearance (R(a)) of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) in high-altitude-acclimated (HA) rats exercising at 60% maximal O(2) uptake (VO(2 max)). During exercise, relative total lipid oxidation (%VO(2)) equaled sea-level control (SL) values; however, acclimation greatly stimulated lipolysis (+75%) but had no effect on R(a) NEFA. As a result, TAG/FA cycling increased (+119%), due solely to an increase in recycling (+144%) within adipocytes. There was no change in either group in these variables with the transition from rest to exercise. We conclude that, in HA, 1) acclimation is a potent stimulator of lipolysis; 2) rats do not modify TAG/FA cycling with the transition to exercise; and 3) in normoxia, HA and SL derive the same fraction of their total energy from lipids and carbohydrates.
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