J Inherit Metab Dis. 2004;27(1):89-99
Pendergast DR, Fisher NM, Meksawan K, Doubrava M, Vladutiu GD.
Department of Physiology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA Correspondence: Department of Physiology and Biophysics, 124 Sherman Hall, University at Buffalo, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
Fat oxidation is important for maintaining health and for supplying energy for exercise.
We have proposed that the predisposition for individual rates of fat oxidation is determined genetically but may be modulated by acute exercise or exercise training.
The purpose of this study was to examine cellular fat oxidation in white blood cells (WBC) using [9,10-(3)H]palmitic acid.
Sedentary controls free of symptoms (SED-C, n =32), were compared with known carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) II-deficient patients ( n =2), patients with fatiguing diseases (chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS, n =6; multiple sclerosis, MS, n =31), obesity (OB, n =5), eating disorders (ED, n =16), sedentary individuals prior to and after exercise (SED-Ex, n =12), exercise-trained sedentary individuals (SED-Tr, n =12), and elite runners (ER, n =5).
Fat oxidation in WBC for all subjects was normally distributed (mean=0.270+/-0.090 nmol/h per 10(9) WBC) and ranged from 0.09 nmol/h per 10(9) WBC in CPT II-deficient patients to 0.59 nmol/h per 10(9) WBC in ER.
There were no significant sex or acute exercise effects on WBC fat oxidation.
Patients with MS, OB or ED were not different from SED-C; however, in CPT II-deficient patients, fat oxidation was low, while that of CFS patients was high.
Exercise training in SED-C resulted in a 16% increase in fat oxidation but in ER it was still 97% higher than in SED-C.
We propose that while WBC fat oxidation is not significantly affected by sex or acute exercise, and only by 15-20% with training, genetic factors play a role in determining both high and low fat oxidation in certain groups of individuals.
The genetic predisposition for individual rates of fat oxidation may be easily measured using WBC fat oxidation, as has been shown for CPT II-deficient patients and for elite runners.
Ranges of WBC fat oxidation that are abnormally low (<20 nmol/h per 10(9) WBC, normal 20-35) or high (>35 nmol/h per 10(9) WBC) are proposed based on genetic factors evaluated in this study.