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Adipocytes

  1. Todd Leff1,
  2. James G. Granneman1,2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300145

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Leff, T. and Granneman, J. G. 2006. Adipocytes. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Detroit, MI, USA

  2. 2

    Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Detroit, MI, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

The adipocyte, or fat cell, is a unique, highly specialized cell whose primary function is to provide a depot for storage of excess fat, derived mainly from the diet, which can be mobilized and distributed to other tissues as dictated by the energetic demands of the organism. Although long thought of as a simple passive storage depot for dietary lipid, it is now clear that adipose tissue plays a very active role in regulating energy balance and not only stores and secretes lipid as needed, but also produces hormonal signals that have multiple effects on energy metabolism in many tissue and organs throughout the body. This new view of adipose tissue (and the adipocyte) as a key regulator of fuel metabolism and partitioning has dramatically increased the interest in the role that this tissue plays not only in normal physiology but also in the etiology and treatment of important metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

Keywords:

  • Metabolism;
  • Lipids;
  • Fatty Acids;
  • Gene Expression;
  • Transcription Factors;
  • Nuclear Receptors;
  • Adipose Tissue;
  • Adipocytes