Interrelationships among diet, age, fat deposition and lipid metabolism in growing steers. Academic Article uri icon


  • Subcutaneous adipose tissue samples were obtained by biopsy technique and at slaughter from steers fed either a corn concentrate or pelleted alfalfa (roughage) diet. Steers fed the roughage diet had slightly greater metabolizable energy intakes than the concentrate-fed steers due to greater rates of feed intake; however, steers fed the concentrate diet had faster rates of gain, primarily in the fat depots. Diet had no effect on the incorporation of 14C-labeled acetate and lactate into fatty acids, although 3H2O incorporation into fatty acids was greater in the concentrate-fed steers. Although backfat thickness was 60% greater in the concentrate-fed steers, the number of adipocytes per gram adipose tissue was unaffected by diet, suggesting adipose cell hyperplasia. The activities of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, fatty acid synthetase, ATP citrate lyase, NADP+ malate dehydrogenase, and hexokinase were greater in the steers fed the concentrate diet; pyruvate kinase activity was unaffected by diet. Fatty acid synthesis and several lipogenic enzyme activities increased with age and then declined markedly by the time of the terminal biopsy. Basal and net rates of lipolysis generally were unaffected by diet but increased with age of the animal. As the animals gained weight, the ratio of net fatty acids released to glycerol released decreased, suggesting more extensive reesterification of fatty acids released during lipolysis.

published proceedings

  • J Nutr

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, S. B., Prior, R. L., Ferrell, C. L., & Mersmann, H. J.

citation count

  • 32

publication date

  • January 1984