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Diabetologia. 2016 Jun;59(6):1075-88. doi: 10.1007/s00125-016-3933-4. Epub 2016 Apr 4.

Adipose tissue plasticity: how fat depots respond differently to pathophysiological cues.

Author information

1
University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, Level 4, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, Box 289, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, CB2 OQQ, UK. vp332@medschl.cam.ac.uk.
2
University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, Level 4, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, Box 289, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, CB2 OQQ, UK.
3
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.
4
University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, Level 4, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, Box 289, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, CB2 OQQ, UK. ajv22@medschl.cam.ac.uk.
5
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK. ajv22@medschl.cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

White adipose tissue (WAT) has key metabolic and endocrine functions and plays a role in regulating energy homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. WAT is characterised by its capacity to adapt and expand in response to surplus energy through processes of adipocyte hypertrophy and/or recruitment and proliferation of precursor cells in combination with vascular and extracellular matrix remodelling. However, in the context of sustained obesity, WAT undergoes fibro-inflammation, which compromises its functionality, contributing to increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Conversely, brown adipose tissue (BAT) and browning of WAT represent potential therapeutic approaches, since dysfunctional white adipocyte-induced lipid overspill can be halted by BAT/browning-mediated oxidative anti-lipotoxic effects. Better understanding of the cellular and molecular pathophysiological mechanisms regulating adipocyte size, number and depot-dependent expansion has become a focus of interest over recent decades. Here, we summarise the mechanisms contributing to adipose tissue (AT) plasticity and function including characteristics and cellular complexity of the various adipose depots and we discuss recent insights into AT origins, identification of adipose precursors, pathophysiological regulation of adipogenesis and its relation to WAT/BAT expandability in obesity and its associated comorbidities.

KEYWORDS:

Adipogenesis; Adipose tissue; Development; Fibrosis; Inflammation; Obesity; Plasticity; Review; Tissue remodelling; Type 2 diabetes

PMID:
27039901
PMCID:
PMC4861754
DOI:
10.1007/s00125-016-3933-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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