Adipose tissue in health and disease: Adipose Tissue in Health and Disease

Innocence Harvey, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Anik Boudreau, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Jacqueline M. Stephens, Pennington Biomedical Research Center


© 2020 The Authors. Adipose, or fat, tissue (AT) was once considered an inert tissue that primarily existed to store lipids, and was not historically recognized as an important organ in the regulation and maintenance of health. With the rise of obesity and more rigorous research, AT is now recognized as a highly complex metabolic organ involved in a host of important physiological functions, including glucose homeostasis and a multitude of endocrine capabilities. AT dysfunction has been implicated in several disease states, most notably obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The study of AT has provided useful insight in developing strategies to combat these highly prevalent metabolic diseases. This review highlights the major functions of adipose tissue and the consequences that can occur when disruption of these functions leads to systemic metabolic dysfunction.