Adipose tissue microenvironments during aging: Effects on stimulated lipolysis

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4 Scopus citations


Adipose tissue is a critical organ for nutrient sensing, energy storage and maintaining metabolic health. The failure of adipose tissue homeostasis leads to metabolic disease that is seen during obesity or aging. Local metabolic processes are coordinated by interacting microenvironments that make up the complexity and heterogeneity of the adipose tissue. Catecholamine-induced lipolysis, a critical pathway in adipocytes that drives the release of stored triglyceride as free fatty acid after stimulation, is impaired during aging. The impairment of this pathway is associated with a failure to maintain a healthy body weight, core body-temperature during cold stress or mount an immune response. Along with impairments in aged adipocytes, aging is associated with an accumulation of inflammation, immune cell activation, and increased dysfunction in the nervous and lymphatic systems within the adipose tissue. Together these microenvironments support the initiation of stimulated lipolysis and the transport of free fatty acid under conditions of metabolic homeostasis. However, during aging, the defects in these cellular systems result in a reduction in ability to stimulate lipolysis. This review will focus on how the immune, nervous and lymphatic systems interact during tissue homeostasis, review areas that are impaired with aging and discuss areas of research that are currently unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number159118
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Adipose tissue lipolysis
  • Aging
  • Immune cells
  • Inflammation
  • Lymphatic vessels
  • Sympathetic nervous system

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.


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