Adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity and lipodystrophy

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62 Scopus citations


The primary function of adipose tissue is to store energy in the form of triglycerides during periods of energy excess and to release the energy during fasting or starvation as free fatty acids and glycerol. Adipose tissue secretes a variety of peptides called adipocytokines (eg, leptin, adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, resistin, visfatin) that have endocrine, autocrine, and paracrine effects on the brain, liver, and skeletal muscles. These peptides play an important role in the regulation of energy homeostasis and intermediary metabolism. Adipose tissue also aromatizes androgens to estrogens, and some adipose tissue depots (mechanical fat) serve a protective or cushioning function. Dysfunction of adipose tissue can result in insulin resistance and its metabolic complications in patients with excess body fat (obesity) or markedly reduced body fat (lipodystrophy). Alterations in free fatty acid and adipocytokine release from adipose tissue may underlie metabolic complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S7-S13
JournalClinical Cornerstone
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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