Objective: The scavenger receptor CD36 facilitates the cellular uptake of long-chain fatty acids. As CD36-deficiency attenuates the development of high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity, the role of CD36-deficiency in preadipocyte recruitment and adipocyte function was set out to characterize.
Design and Methods: Fat cell size and number were determined in gonadal, visceral, and subcutaneous adipose tissue of CD36−/− and WT mice after 6 weeks on HFD. Basal lipolysis and insulin-inhibited lipolysis were investigated in gonadal adipose tissue.
Results: CD36−/− mice showed a reduction in adipocyte size in all fat pads. Gonadal adipose tissue also showed a lower total number of adipocytes because of a lower number of very small adipocytes (diameter <50 μm). This was accompanied by an increased pool of preadipocytes, which suggests that CD36-deficiency reduces the capacity of preadipocytes to become adipocytes. Regarding lipolysis, in adipose tissue from CD36−/− mice, cAMP levels were increased and both basal and 8-bromo-cAMP stimulated lipolysis were higher. However, insulin-mediated inhibition of lipolysis was more potent in CD36−/− mice.
Conclusions: These results indicate that during fat depot expansion, CD36-deficiency negatively affects preadipocyte recruitment and that in mature adipocytes, CD36-deficiency is associated with increased basal lipolysis and insulin responsiveness.