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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver


Faculty Profile

Associate Professor of Medicine

Department of Medicine/ Geriatrics

University of Colorado Denver


Regulation of Energy Balance

Active Grant:

NIH R01 DK077992-01 Regional fat re-accumulation following lipectomy in pre- and postmenopausal women


Description of Research

The global aims of Dr. Van Pelt’s current studies are to determine whether: 1) there are menopause-related differences in regional (abdominal vs. femoral) AT re-accumulation following lipectomy; and 2) changes (removal and regain) in femoral AT mass alter postprandial triglyceride clearance and storage of meal-derived fatty acids. An additional aim is to evaluate whether menopause-related differences in postprandial lipemia and handling of dietary fatty acids determines the degree to which femoral lipectomy worsens these parameters. Pre- and postmenopausal women are randomly assigned to either femoral lipectomy or control (no surgery). All eligible volunteers undergo testing at the beginning of the study and at 2, 8, and 14 months following lipectomy. Measurements include body composition assessments, meal tests and AT biopsies to assess lipectomy-related changes in: 1) abdominal and femoral fat mass; 2) systemic postprandial triglyceride excursions; and 3) storage of dietary fatty acids in AT. These studies are designed to evaluate the effect of femoral lipectomy on regional AT re-accumulation and metabolic disease risk in pre- and postmenopausal women. The overall working hypothesis is that removal of femoral AT by lipectomy will worsen metabolic disease risk (i.e., increase postprandial lipemia) in estrogen-deficient postmenopausal women who, in contrast to premenopausal women, will re-accumulate AT in the abdominal rather than the femoral region.


1-2 Most Significant Publications

1)    R.E. Van Pelt, C.M. Jankowski, W.S. Gozansky, R.S. Schwartz, W.M. Kohrt.  Lower-body adiposity and metabolic protection in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 90(8): 4573-4578, 2005.

2)    R.E. Van Pelt, R.S. Schwartz, W.M. Kohrt. Insulin secretion and clearance after subacute estradiol administration in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 93(2):484-90, 2008.


Primary Focus Area (relevant to the obesity initiative)

·         Adipose tissue metabolism

Secondary Focus Areas (relevant to the obesity initiative)

·         Estrogen and glucoregulatory and antilipolytic insulin action

·         Estrogen and trafficking of dietary fatty acids into subcutaneous and ectopic fat depots

Access to Specialized Populations

·         Women undergoing femoral liposuction


Benefit of CNRU

The major benefit of the CNRU for me has been the enhanced interaction and collaboration with other CNRU investigators and support from the CNRU Core laboratories. 


CNRU Cores Used

Energy Balance Core


CNRU Collaborations

Bessesen, Barbour, Eckel, Friedman, Hernandez, Horton, Jackman, Kohrt, Pereira

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