Adipose tissue

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Adipose tissue is made up of triglycerides and is another name for fat. It is metabolic and endocrine organ which contains adipocytes as well as connective tissue matrix, nerve tissue, stromovascular cells, and immune cells. Adipose tissue responds to the afferent signals from traditional hormone system and the CNS and produce factors (leptin, other cytokines, adiponectin, complement components, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, proteins of the renin-angiotensin system, and resistin) which performs important endocrine functions. Sex steroids and glucocorticoids also use adipose tissue as an important metabolic site. The tissue cells secrete bioactive peptides called adipokines which are able to express their function on local (paracrine/autocrine) or distant (endocrine) cells. Therefore, besides storage and release of energy, adipose tissue also has methabolic machinery which enable it to communicate with distant organs and CNS thus coordinating energy metabolism, neuroendocrine functions, and immune functions.[1]


  1. Kershaw E., Flier J. (2004) "Adipose Tissue as an Endocrine Organ" The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 89(6): 2548-2556
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