Cellularity of Adipose Tissue Obtained from Different Sex and Growth Stages of Hanwoo Cattle and Sheep

  • Lee, H.J. (National Livestock Research Institute, RDA) ;
  • Lee, S.C. (National Livestock Research Institute, RDA) ;
  • Kim, D.W. (National Livestock Research Institute, RDA) ;
  • Park, J.G. (National Livestock Research Institute, RDA) ;
  • Han, In K. (Department of Animal Science & Technology, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 1999.01.07
  • Accepted : 1999.05.12
  • Published : 2000.02.01


In order to understand the effects of sex or age on cellular characteristics of adipocytes from Hanwoo and sheep, samples were obtained from omental, subcutaneous, intermuscular and intramuscular adipose tissue depots of bulls, steers, heifers and cows in Hanwoo, and perirenal, omental and subcutaneous adipose tissues of fetal lambs, suckling lambs and wethers in sheep. In case of Hanwoo, mean diameter, surface area and volume of adipocytes from each depot were obtained by multisizer II (Coulter Co., UK). Osmium-fixed adipocytes were sized and counted using $560{\mu}m$ aperture. For samples obtained from sheep, cellularity was measured by using microscope and MCV program of Texas Instrument. Bulls had less subcutaneous and kidney fat than steers even though their slaughter and carcass weight were heavier. The amounts of fat from cows were greater in subcutaneous, kidney and internal organs than heifers. Steers had larger adipocytes in subcutaneous, intermuscular and intramuscular adipose tissues than bulls, although the differences were significant only for the subcutaneous adipose tissue depots. Adipocytes appeared to be largest in omental and smallest in intramuscular adipose tissue, although there were no significant differences among tissues. In a comparison of heifers and cows, significant site effects (p<0.05) were shown in adipocyte diameter, surface area and volume, and adipocyte appeared to be largest in omental tissue. Statistical difference (p<0.05) was only shown in cell volume of intramuscular tissue which was higher in cow than heifer. Intramuscular adipose tissue tended to have relatively greater numbers of cells per gram tissue and reflect lesser maturity of intramuscular adipose tissue relative to other adipose tissues. In sheep, regardless of adipose tissue depots, wethers had the greater adipocyte diameters than those at any other growth stage of sheep. Within adipose depots, the ranking of cell size was the greatest in the omental tissue of wether and the lowest in the renal and subcutaneous adipose tissue depots of fetal lamb. The cell size of adipocyte became larger with age, especially from fetal to suckling lamb due to a rapid hypertrophy of both perirenal and subcutaneous adipocytes during the suckling period.

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