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Susanna Stoneham, Tuula Kiviluoto, Leila Keso and Jorma J. Ohisalo

Abstract. Adenosine content in abdominal and femoral adipose tissue in menstruating women was 0.38 ± 0.10 and 0.59 ± 0.14 nmol/g of wet weight, respectively (mean ± sem; N = 17). No difference in adenosine sensitivity was found between abdominal and femoral adipocytes. In lactating women, the adenosine content was lower in femoral than in abdominal adipose tissue (0.40 ± 0.08 and 0.57 ± 0.08 nmol/g of wet weight, respectively; N = 10). Adenosine sensitivity in femoral adipocytes was not increased during lactation. As adenosine is a locally acting insulin-like effector, these results suggest that the higher adenosine content in femoral adipose tissue in menstruating women could explain its higher lipoprotein lipase activity and tendency to accumulate fat. During lactation, the lower extracellular adenosine concentration would allow lipid mobilization preferentially from the femoral site.