We have demonstrated that glycogen and lipid synthesis in adipocytes is modulated by the lactational state and that this modulation in mammary adipocytes requires the presence of the adjacent epithelial cells. Glycogen and lipid synthesis from [14C]glucose was measured in mammary fat pads cleared of epithelium, in abdominal fat pads, and in adipocytes from both sources and from intact mammary gland of mature virgin, pregnant, and lactating mice. Accumulation of glycogen, the activity of glycogen synthase, and the lipogenic rate in abdominal and mammary adipocytes remained high during pregnancy but decreased to insignificant levels by early lactation. The depressant effects of lactation were observed solely in those mammary adipocytes isolated from intact glands. The presence of mammary epithelial cells was also required to effect the stimulated lipogenesis in mammary adipocytes during pregnancy, We conclude that the metabolic activity of adipocytes is modulated both during pregnancy and lactation to channel nutrients to the mammary epithelial cell. The fact that the changes occur in mammary adipocytes only when epithelial cells are present indicates that local as well as systemic factors are operating in these modulations.
- Copyright © 1981 the American Physiological Society