Reassessing triglyceride synthesis in adipose tissue

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Dec;19(10):356-61. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2008.08.003. Epub 2008 Oct 15.


The synthesis and breakdown of triglycerides in adipose tissue and muscle is a crucial element of energy metabolism because it ensures that adequate fuel is available during starvation. Triglyceride turnover determines the availability of fatty acids for utilization by mammalian tissues, and any dysfunction in this process can lead to alterations in glucose metabolism, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Our understanding of the reactions involved in triglyceride synthesis is currently being reassessed, primarily because of the recently identified role that re-esterification of fatty acids plays in triglyceride deposition and, thus, in controlling fatty-acid availability. Here, we review recent information on triglyceride synthesis and introduce the pathway of glyceroneogenesis as an important and highly regulated source of glyceride-glycerol in adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Glycolysis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Triglycerides / biosynthesis*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Triglycerides
  • Glycerol