In the United States alone, one-third of adults and nearly one-quarter of children are clinically obese. This growing epidemic is of serious concern as obesity confers a significant risk to developing numerous chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The alarming incidence of obesity and the rising costs of treating the associated diseases has increased the urgency of acquiring a deeper understanding of all aspects of adipocyte (fat cell) biology, including how these cells form, how they are regulated, and how increased adiposity leads to disease. Since the turn of the new century we have witnessed great progress in understanding the complexities of adipocyte function and their developmental origin. As a result, our view of adipocytes has now changed dramatically. Here, I provide a brief primer on some of the hot topics that have emerged in this field of research, which now includes aspects of endocrinology, cardiology, cancer biology, and stem cell and developmental biology. I also highlight some of the unique opportunities for therapeutic targeting of adipose tissue in metabolic disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)