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Arch Med Sci. 2013 Apr 20;9(2):191-200. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2013.33181. Epub 2013 Feb 10.

Biochemistry of adipose tissue: an endocrine organ.

Author information

1
Ciências Químicas e das Biomoléculas e Unidade de Mecanismos Moleculares da Doença do Centro de Investigação em Saúde e Ambiente, Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde do Porto, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Portugal ; Centro de Farmacologia e Biopatologia Química (U38-FCT), Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Portugal.

Abstract

Adipose tissue is no longer considered to be an inert tissue that stores fat. This tissue is capable of expanding to accommodate increased lipids through hypertrophy of existing adipocytes and by initiating differentiation of pre-adipocytes. Adipose tissue metabolism exerts an impact on whole-body metabolism. As an endocrine organ, adipose tissue is responsible for the synthesis and secretion of several hormones. These are active in a range of processes, such as control of nutritional intake (leptin, angiotensin), control of sensitivity to insulin and inflammatory process mediators (tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), resistin, visfatin, adiponectin, among others) and pathways (plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and acylation stimulating protein (ASP) for example). This paper reviews some of the biochemical and metabolic aspects of adipose tissue and its relationship to inflammatory disease and insulin resistance.

KEYWORDS:

adipocytes; adipokines; adipose tissue

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