Pinocytic activity in the adipose cell has been examined by measuring the uptake of colloidal gold. Pinocytic activity occurs in the isolated adipose cell under all experimental conditions; a portion of the vesicular elements of the cell can be identified by electron microscopy as pinocytic in origin. The isolated adipose cell appears to take up serum albumin by pinocytosis. Pinocytic activity in the isolated adipose cell is enhanced by epinephrine, but not by insulin. The relationship between pinocytosis and the metabolic activity of the adipose cell has been studied by measuring simultaneously the uptake of radioactive colloidal gold, the incorporation of 14C-counts from U-glucose-14C into CO2, total lipid, triglyceride glycerol and triglyceride fatty acids, and the release of nonesterified fatty acids in the absence of hormones and in the presence of insulin or epinephrine. Correlations between hormone-produced alterations in lipid metabolism and in pinocytic activity suggest that intracellular nonesterified fatty acid levels are a factor in the regulation of both the cell's pinocytic activity and its metabolism and that pinocytosis in the adipose cell functions in the extracellular-intracellular transport of nonesterified fatty acids.

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