Muscle Lipid Droplets: Cellular Signaling to Exercise Physiology and Beyond

Jacob T. Seibert, Charles P. Najt, Timothy D. Heden, Douglas G. Mashek, Lisa S. Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Conventionally viewed as energy storage depots, lipid droplets (LDs) play a central role in muscle lipid metabolism and intracellular signaling, as recognized by recent advances in our biological understanding. Specific subpopulations of muscle LDs, defined by location and associated proteins, are responsible for distinct biological functions. In this review, the traditional view of muscle LDs is examined, and the emerging role of LDs in intracellular signaling is highlighted. The effects of chronic and acute exercise on muscle LD metabolism and signaling is discussed. In conclusion, future directions for muscle LD research are identified. The primary focus will be on human studies, with inclusion of select animal/cellular/non-muscle studies as appropriate, to provide the underlying mechanisms driving the observed findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)928-938
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • exercise
  • lipid droplets
  • lipolysis
  • signaling
  • skeletal muscle

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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