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Horm Metab Res. 2000 Nov-Dec;32(11-12):443-52.

Millennium fat-cell lipolysis reveals unsuspected novel tracks.

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INSERM unit 317, Institut Louis Bugnard, H pital Rangueil, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.


Adipose tissue lipolysis, i.e., the catabolic process leading to the breakdown of triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol, is often considered as a simple and well-understood metabolic pathway. However, progress on the hormonal regulation and molecular mechanism of fat-cell lipolysis is opening new avenues and points to a number of unanswered questions. Recent studies on the lipolytic beta- and antilipolytic alpha2-adrenergic control of lipolysis has allowed a better understanding of the relative contribution of the two types of receptors and provide strong evidence for the in vivo implication of alpha2-adrenoceptors in the physiological control of subcutaneous adipose-tissue lipolysis. A novel lipolytic system has been characterized in human fat cells. Natriuretic peptides stimulate lipolysis through a cGMP-dependent pathway. The molecular details of the lipolytic reaction are not fully understood. Translocation of hormone-sensitive lipase, the rate-limiting enzyme of lipolysis, to the lipid droplet seems to be an important step during lipolytic activation. Reorganization of the lipid droplet coating by perilipins may also facilitate the access of the enzyme. Unexpectedly, hormone-sensitive lipase-deficient mice are not obese and show residual adipose-tissue lipolysis, which suggests the existence of another triglyceride lipase. Whether the expression of this uncharacterized neutral lipase is compensatory for the lack of hormone-sensitive lipase is an important question yet to be resolved. In humans, alterations of hormone-sensitive lipase expression are associated with changes in lipolysis in various physiological and pathological states. Genetic studies show that beta2-adrenoceptor and hormone-sensitive lipase genes may participate in the polygenic background of obesity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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