What do we know about our own fat?

Adipose tissue has gained popularity and better understanding these days. The increasing prevalence of obesity and its related disease is forcing science to provide a better understand on what is adipocyte. This tissue is not just a pocket of energy where mamalians put their extra energy. Adipocyte is an endocrine cell, which literally has ability to influence the other tissue or organ inside human body. This changing status, like pluto is not a planet anymore, doesnt stop people from studying what exactly this tissue is. Until at the point that we ask ourself, how much do we know about adipose tissue?

Lets keep it simple. Adipose tissue is a place to store fat. That is true. It is a place where you can put a lot of unused energy in the form of triglyceride (TG) and take it up again when energy is depleted as fatty acid (FA). Normal adipose tissue will have ability to shift everything up as needed. Its true, adipose tissue is like our beloved fridge.

However, it not true that the function of adipose tissue is limited to the storage place. This “gland” could produce some materials such as hormones, cytokine and adipokine. Using its secreted materials, adipose tissue would be able to control our life. It influences appetite, how much food we eat, glucose disposal and even energy expenditure. Adipose tissue could also help prevent insulin resistance by modulating muscle, liver and pancreatic function.

That is the knowledge we have today… I personally believe that there are mistery remains to be solved about this particular tissue.

Lafontan M. Fat cells: afferent and efferent messeges define new approach to treat obesity. Annual review, 2005.


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