Biochemistry of Adipose Tissue: An Endocrine Organ


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Adipose tissue

Originally considered as simply a storage organ for triacylglycerol, interest in the biology of adipose tissue has increased substantially. Over the last decades there has been considerable accumulation of experimental data about the biology and biochemistry of adipose tissue. This tissue is no longer considered to be an inert tissue that just stores fat [1]. Adipose tissue is a metabolically dynamic organ that is the primary site of storage for excess energy but it serves as an endocrine organ capable of synthesizing a number of biologically active compounds that regulate metabolic homeostasis. This dynamic tissue is composed not only of adipocytes, but also of other cell types called the stroma-vascular fraction, comprising blood cells, endothelial cells, pericytes and adipose precursor cells among others [2–5]. Several studies have evidenced that adipose tissue is not uniform. Depending on the location in the body, they differ in their capacity to secrete adipocytokines, as well as cellular composition with varied phenotype, as well as the quantity and proportion of adipocytes forming it, blood vessel stromal cells and immune system cells [6]. It is now generally recognized that adipose tissue is an important organ of a complex network that participates in the regulation of a variety of quite diverse biological functions…