Lipid metabolism in adipose tissue

Ann V. Hertzel, Brian R. Thompson, Brian M. Wiczer, David A. Bernlohr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This chapter focuses on the biochemistry of lipid metabolism in the adipocyte. Adipocytes make up approximately one-half of the cells in adipose tissue, the remainder being blood and endothelial cells, adipose precursor cells of varying degrees of differentiation, macrophages, and fibroblasts. In humans, small clusters of adipocytes are present that increase in size during gestation. Larger clusters of fat cells are associated with tissue vascularization and a general increase in cluster size is positively correlated with larger blood vessels. Paracrine/autocrine factors play a significant role in both capillary growth and adipose conversion. Recent advances have demonstrated that the adipocyte is not a passive lipid storage depot but a dynamic cell that plays a fundamental role in energy balance and overall body homeostasis. Moreover, the fat cell functions as a sensor of lipid levels, transmitting information to a neural circuit affecting major biological processes including hunger, sleep, and reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiochemistry of Lipids, Lipoproteins and Membranes
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9780444532190
StatePublished - 2008


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