Adipose Tissue as an Endocrine Organ

Nicolas Musi, Rodolfo Guardado-Mendoza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

23 Scopus citations


In recent years, there has been an explosion in our understanding of adipose tissue biology. Fat tissue is no longer regarded as a tissue the sole function of which is to store energy in the form of triglycerides. Adipose tissue is now regarded as an endocrine organ that controls whole body glucose and lipid homeostasis by secreting numerous factors (free fatty acids, proteins) that exert specific functions in target tissues. Adipose tissue is broadly classified into white (WAT) and brown (BAT). WAT is largely responsible for the synthesis and storage of triglycerides, whereas BAT is important for heat production and energy expenditure due to its high content of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Adipose tissue plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases associated with obesity by promoting the development of a pro-inflammatory state. As we understand better the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control adipocyte biology and how fat tissue affects other organs, novel strategies to prevent and treat metabolic diseases by targeting the adipose tissue and its products will be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCellular Endocrinology in Health and Disease
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780124081345
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Adipocyte
  • Adipokines
  • Adipose tissue
  • Inflammatory cytokines
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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