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Stem Cells Int. 2016;2016:6067349. doi: 10.1155/2016/6067349. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Mitochondria in White, Brown, and Beige Adipocytes.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 301 00 Pilsen, Czech Republic; Biomedical Centre, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 301 00 Pilsen, Czech Republic.
2
Department of Biology, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 301 00 Pilsen, Czech Republic.
3
Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 301 00 Pilsen, Czech Republic.
4
Biomedical Centre, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 301 00 Pilsen, Czech Republic; Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 301 00 Pilsen, Czech Republic.
5
Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 301 00 Pilsen, Czech Republic.

Abstract

Mitochondria play a key role in energy metabolism in many tissues, including cardiac and skeletal muscle, brain, liver, and adipose tissue. Three types of adipose depots can be identified in mammals, commonly classified according to their colour appearance: the white (WAT), the brown (BAT), and the beige/brite/brown-like (bAT) adipose tissues. WAT is mainly involved in the storage and mobilization of energy and BAT is predominantly responsible for nonshivering thermogenesis. Recent data suggest that adipocyte mitochondria might play an important role in the development of obesity through defects in mitochondrial lipogenesis and lipolysis, regulation of adipocyte differentiation, apoptosis, production of oxygen radicals, efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation, and regulation of conversion of white adipocytes into brown-like adipocytes. This review summarizes the main characteristics of each adipose tissue subtype and describes morphological and functional modifications focusing on mitochondria and their activity in healthy and unhealthy adipocytes.

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