Serum albumin stimulates the uptake of U-glucose-14C and the incorporation of 14C-counts into triglyceride glycerol and inhibits the incorporation of 14C-counts into triglyceride fatty acids by isolated adipose cells; insulin and epinephrine enhance these effects. In the absence of hormones, these responses to albumin increase with increasing albumin concentration. In the presence of insulin, a qualitatively similar pattern of increasing responses to albumin is observed; the enhancement of each response by insulin is, however, only slightly potentiated by higher albumin concentrations. In contrast, in the presence of epinephrine, these responses to albumin are maximal at the lowest albumin concentration tested, 0.1%; the enhancement of each response by epinephrine is similarly maximal at 0.1% albumin, but decreases rapidly as the albumin concentration is raised. Increasing serum albumin concentrations do, however, stimulate the release of fatty acids and glycerol by epinephrine-treated cells increasingly until a plateau, determined by the epinephrine dose, is reached. These data support the suggestion that intracellular fatty acid levels function in the regulation of adipose cell activity, and further suggest that serum albumin plays a role in determining the metabolic fate of these fatty acids.

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