Submitted to: Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/2009
Publication Date: 12/16/2009
Citation: Poulos, S.P., Hausman, D.B., Hausman, G.J. 2009. The development and endocrine functions of adipose tissue. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. Interpretive Summary: Fat tissue is classically known for storing the body’s extra or excess energy reserves. It is now known that fat cells and fat tissue produce and secrete factors that can act as messengers or hormones. The messengers or hormone secretions from fat tissue are known to affect several systems in the body. Evaluation of these factors secreted from fat tissue indicate they could play roles in several pathologies. With the identification of more fat cell factors and determination of their role in the body a greater appreciation will be gained for a tissue thought to simply store excess energy.
Technical Abstract: White adipose tissue is a mesenchymal tissue that begins developing in the fetus. Classically known for storing the body’s fuel reserves, adipose tissue is now recognized as an endocrine organ. As such, the secretions from adipose tissue are known to affect several systems such as the vascular and immune systems and play major roles in metabolism. Numerous studies have shown nutrient or hormonal manipulations can greatly influence adipose tissue development. In addition, the associations between various disease states, such as insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease, and disregulation of adipose tissue seen in epidemiological and intervention studies are great. Evaluation of known adipokines suggests these factors secreted from adipose tissue play roles in several pathologies. As the identification of more adipokines and determination of their role in biological systems, and the interactions between adipocytes and other cells types continues, there is little doubt that we will gain a greater appreciation for a tissue once thought to simply store excess energy.