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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug;22(8):325-32. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 May 10.

Emerging roles of JAK-STAT signaling pathways in adipocytes.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.


Twenty years ago, adipocytes were largely considered to be inert energy-storage depots. We now know that fat cells are highly insulin-sensitive with significant endocrine functions. Alterations in adipocyte development or function can contribute to metabolic disease, in particular type 2 diabetes. The current obesity epidemic that plagues many nations provides a strong rationale for understanding basic adipocyte biology. The JAK-STAT signaling pathway mediates the action of a variety of hormones that have profound effects on adipocyte development and function. In addition, adipocytes secrete hormones that utilize this signaling pathway. This review summarizes research on the expression and function of JAKs and STATs in adipocytes and highlights the roles of JAK-STAT-activating cytokines in adipose tissue.

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