Isolated adipose tissue cells were prepared from subcutaneous samples obtained from nine morbidly obese subjects weighing from 187 to 306 per cent of ideal body weight. The responsiveness of these adipocytes to a number of test substances was determined by measuring cellular cyclic AMP concentration at one-half hour and glycerol release at four hours. Theophylline (10−3 M) and epinephrine (10−5 M) stimulated Upolysis; theophylline stimulated an increase in cyclic AMP, while epinephrine failed to prompt a significant change in the nucleotide. Neither the αblocker, phen tolamine (10−5 M), nor the β blocker, propranolol (3 × 10−5 M), affected lipolysis or cyclic AMP; when these agents were incubated in combination with epinephrine, changes occurred indicative of the presence of both α and β adrenergic receptor sites. Insulin significantly reduced both basal and stimulated lipolysis but failed to affect cyclic AMP. With minor exceptions, adipocytes from hyperobese. Subjects behaved similarly to cells from unselected donors; at the concentration used, there was no evidence of resistance to insulin.

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