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J Lipid Res. 2015 Nov;56(11):2061-9. doi: 10.1194/jlr.R062893. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Dermal white adipose tissue: a new component of the thermogenic response.

Author information

1
McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research and Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI.
2
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.
3
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI.
4
Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego, CA.
5
School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom.
6
Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
7
Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Abstract

Recent literature suggests that the layer of adipocytes embedded in the skin below the dermis is far from being an inert spacer material. Instead, this layer of dermal white adipose tissue (dWAT) is a regulated lipid layer that comprises a crucial environmental defense. Among all the classes of biological molecules, lipids have the lowest thermal conductance and highest insulation potential. This property can be exploited by mammals to reduce heat loss, suppress brown adipose tissue activation, reduce the activation of thermogenic programs, and increase metabolic efficiency. Furthermore, this layer responds to bacterial challenge to provide a physical barrier and antimicrobial disinfection, and its expansion supports the growth of hair follicles and regenerating skin. In sum, this dWAT layer is a key defensive player with remarkable potential for modifying systemic metabolism, immune function, and physiology. In this review, we discuss the key literature illustrating the properties of this recently recognized adipose depot.

KEYWORDS:

adipocytes; antimicrobial; cytokines; diabetes; environmental defense; follicular development; insulation; skin; thermogenesis

PMID:
26405076
PMCID:
PMC4617393
DOI:
10.1194/jlr.R062893
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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