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Trends Cell Biol. 2016 May;26(5):313-326. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2016.01.004. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Emerging Complexities in Adipocyte Origins and Identity.

Author information

1
Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 373 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.
2
Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 373 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA. Electronic address: david.guertin@umassmed.edu.

Abstract

The global incidence of obesity and its comorbidities continues to rise along with a demand for novel therapeutic interventions. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is attracting attention as a therapeutic target because of its presence in adult humans and high capacity to dissipate energy as heat, and thus burn excess calories, when stimulated. Another potential avenue for therapeutic intervention is to induce, within white adipose tissue (WAT), the formation of brown-like adipocytes called brite (brown-like-in-white) or beige adipocytes. However, understanding how to harness the potential of these thermogenic cells requires a deep understanding of their developmental origins and regulation. Recent cell-labeling and lineage-tracing experiments are beginning to shed light on this emerging area of adipocyte biology. We review here adipocyte development, giving particular attention to thermogenic adipocytes.

KEYWORDS:

UCP1; adipose tissue development; beige adipocyte; brite adipocyte; brown adipocyte; lipodystrophy; obesity; thermogenesis; white adipocyte

PMID:
26874575
PMCID:
PMC4844825
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2016.01.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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