Adipose tissue is the largest organ in the human body and, in excess, contributes to dyslipidemias and the dysregulation of other vascular and metabolic processes. Adipose tissue is heterogeneous, comprised of several cell types based on morphology, cellular age, and endocrine and paracrine function. Adipose tissue depots are also regional, primarily due to sex differences and genetic variation. Adipose tissue is also characterized as subcutaneous vs. visceral. In addition, fatty deposits exist outside of adipose tissue, such as those surrounding the heart, or as infiltration of skeletal muscle. This review focuses on adipose tissue and its contribution to dyslipidemias. Dyslipidemias are defined as circulating blood lipid levels that are too high or altered. Lipids include both traditional and nontraditional species. Leaving aside traditional definitions, adipose tissue contributes to dyslipidemias in a myriad of ways. To address a small portion of this topic, we reviewed (a) adipose tissue location and cell types, (b) body composition, (c) endocrine adipose, (d) the fat-brain axis, and (e) genetic susceptibility. The influence of these complex aspects of adipose tissue on dyslipidemias and human health, illustrating that, once again, that adipose tissue is a quintessential, multifunctional tissue of the human body, will be summarized.
Part of the book: Dyslipidemia