Student Author(s)

Thomas E. Akie

Academic Program

Not applicable

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Molecular Biology


Lipid metabolism in liver is complex. In addition to importing and exporting lipid via lipoproteins, hepatocytes can oxidize lipid via fatty acid oxidation, or alternatively, synthesize new lipid via de novo lipogenesis. The net sum of these pathways is dictated by a number of factors, which in certain disease states leads to fatty liver disease. Excess hepatic lipid accumulation is associated with whole body insulin resistance and coronary heart disease. Tools to study lipid metabolism in hepatocytes are useful to understand the role of hepatic lipid metabolism in certain metabolic disorders. In the liver, hepatocytes regulate the breakdown and synthesis of fatty acids via beta-fatty oxidation and de novo lipogenesis, respectively. Quantifying metabolism in these pathways provides insight into hepatic lipid handling. Unlike in vitro quantification, using primary hepatocytes, making measurements in vivo is technically challenging and resource intensive. Hence, quantifying beta-fatty acid oxidation and de novo lipogenesis in cultured mouse hepatocytes provides a straight forward method to assess hepatocyte lipid handling. Here we describe a method for the isolation of primary mouse hepatocytes, and we demonstrate quantification of beta-fatty acid oxidation and de novo lipogenesis, using radiolabeled substrates.


Molecular Biology, Issue 102, Liver, Hepatocyte, Mouse, Fatty Acid, Oxidation, Lipogenesis, Metabolism, Palmitate

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2015, Journal of Visualized Experiments. Publisher PDF posted as allowed by the publisher's author rights policy at

DOI of Published Version



J Vis Exp. 2015 Aug 27;(102):e52982. doi: 10.3791/52982. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID