About the book
Adipose tissue is an important organ located beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat), around internal organs (visceral fat), and in the bone marrow. There are three types of adipose tissue, white adipose tissue (the predominant type), brown adipose tissue, and beige adipose tissue (new classification). The adipose tissue contains adipocytes (white, brown, and beige), connective tissue (fibroblasts), nerve tissue, vascular cells, and immune cells (macrophages). The white adipose tissue plays a vital role in the survival of humans. It is involved in heat insulation, mechanical protection (cushion), and storage of excess energy as triglycerides. The white adipose tissue is a highly metabolic and endocrine organ. It is involved in the production of several factors called adipokines (e.g., leptin, adiponectin, resistin, and adipsin) which act at both local (autocrine, paracrine) and systemic (endocrine) levels, affecting energy homeostasis, insulin sensitivity, and neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and immune functions. The brown adipose tissue is involved in thermoregulation. It transfers energy from food into heat. The exact role of beige adipose tissue has yet to be determined. Aging is commonly associated with an increase in white adipose tissue and a decrease in brown adipose tissue. Disorders of white adipose tissue include accumulation of lipophilic endocrine-disrupting chemicals capable of promoting metabolic and endocrine diseases, expansion (hypertrophy or hyperplasia) leading to obesity and its complications, and deficiency as observed in lipodystrophy and cachexia. Brown adipose tissue appears to be an attractive target for the treatment of obesity.
This book intends to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge about adipose tissue physiology and disorders.