Sympathetic control of white adipose tissue in lean and obese humans


Christoph Dodt, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, D-23538 Lübeck, Germany,


Aim:  To induce lipolysis, catecholamines could reach the adipocyte via the blood stream after being released from the adrenal medulla or, alternatively, via neuronal release in the vicinity of the fat cell. Sympatho-neuronal effects on fat tissue lipolysis have been demonstrated in experimental animal models. However, the role of sympathetic nerves in the control of lipolysis in human white adipose tissue, which is sparsely innervated, has not been clarified.

Conclusion:  The present review summarizes evidence for a direct neuronal influence on lipolysis in humans.