Systematic Scoping Review of Surgically Manipulated Adipose Tissue and the Regulation of Energetics and Body Fat in Animals

Surgical manipulations of adipose tissue by removal, or partial lipectomy, have demonstrated body fat compensation and recovered body weight, suggesting that the body is able to resist changes to body composition. However, the mechanisms underlying these observations are not well understood. The purpose of this scoping review is to provide an update on what is currently known about the regulation of energetics and body fat after surgical manipulations of adipose tissue in small mammals. Some of the researchers in this review include Drs. Kathryn Kaiser, from the department of Health Behavior, Olivia Affuso, from the department of Epidemiology and Hemant Tiwari, from the department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

PubMed and Scopus were searched to identify 64 eligible studies. Outcome measures included body fat, body weight, food intake, and circulating biomarkers.

Surgeries performed included lipectomy (72%) or transplantation (12%) in mice (35%), rats (35%), and other small mammals. Findings suggested that lipectomy did not have consistent long‐term effects on reducing body weight and fat because regain occurred within 12 to 14 weeks post surgery. Hence, biological feedback mechanisms act to resist long‐term changes of body weight or fat. Furthermore, whether this weight and fat regain occurred because of “passive” and “active” regulation under the “set point” or “settling point” theories cannot fully be discerned because of limitations in study designs and data collected.

The authors concluded that regulation of energetics and body fat are complex and dynamic processes that require further studies of the interplay of genetic, physiological, and behavioral factors.

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