This is another of the anchor studies which has informed my world view over the last decade or so:
Insulin signaling in human visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue in vivo
This has been reinforced by the PET scan data from this next study. The mouse section is poor as it compares SC adipose tissue to epididymal adipose, the effect would be more marked if they had used omental/mesenteric as the visceral adipose source but hey, the PET data in real live humans are nice...
This property of visceral adipocytes appears to be intrinsic to their stem cells. If you differentiate stem cells from SC and visceral tissues in to adipocytes those adipocytes, generated in-vitro, retain this exquisite insulin sensitivity.
Fat depot-related differences in gene expression, adiponectin secretion, and insulin action and signalling in human adipocytes differentiated in vitro from precursor stromal cells
"Visceral adipose tissue has higher rate of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake compared with SCAT adipocytes."
"Visceral adipocytes are more metabolically active and have a greater lipolytic activity than SCAT adipocytes (44,45)."
Differences in lipolysis between human subcutaneous and omental adipose tissues
Differences at the receptor and postreceptor levels between human omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue in the action of insulin on lipolysis
Metabolic complications of visceral obesity: contribution to the etiology of life of type 2 diabetes and implications for prevention and treatment.
"In one study in vivo , subjects were given isotopically labelled fatty acids, and biopsies of different depots were taken at abdominal surgery 24 h later (Marin et al. 1992); accumulation of label was most marked (per g TG) in the omental and retroperitoneal depots."
The Morphology and Metabolism of Intraabdominal Adipose Tissue in Men
"Adipose tissue lipid uptake, measured after oral administration of labeled oleic acid in triglyceride, was approximately 50% higher in omental than in subcutaneous adipose tissues."
and in vitro
"Adipocytes from omental fat also showed a higher lipolytic sensitivity and responsiveness to catecholamines"
So, easy in via insulin, easy out via sympathetic nervous system stimulation.
"Furthermore, these adipocytes were less sensitive to the antilipolytic effects of insulin."
So let's summarise: