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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Dec;11(10):410-6.

Lipoatrophy revisited.

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  • 1Diabetes Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 8N-250, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-1770, USA.


The lipoatrophy syndromes are a heterogeneous group of syndromes characterized by a paucity of adipose tissue. Severe lipoatrophy is associated with insulin-resistant diabetes mellitus (DM). The loss of adipose tissue can have a genetic, immune, or infectious/drug-associated etiology. Causative mutations have been identified in patients for one form of partial lipoatrophy--Dunnigan-type familial partial lipodystrophy. Experiments using lipoatrophic mice demonstrate that the diabetes results from the lack of fat and that leptin deficiency is a contributing factor. Thiazolidinedione therapy improves metabolic control in lipoatrophic patients; the efficacy of leptin treatment is currently being investigated.

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