Insect fat body: energy, metabolism, and regulation

Annu Rev Entomol. 2010;55:207-25. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-112408-085356.


The fat body plays major roles in the life of insects. It is a dynamic tissue involved in multiple metabolic functions. One of these functions is to store and release energy in response to the energy demands of the insect. Insects store energy reserves in the form of glycogen and triglycerides in the adipocytes, the main fat body cell. Insect adipocytes can store a great amount of lipid reserves as cytoplasmic lipid droplets. Lipid metabolism is essential for growth and reproduction and provides energy needed during extended nonfeeding periods. This review focuses on energy storage and release and summarizes current understanding of the mechanisms underlying these processes in insects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Fat Body / metabolism*
  • Insect Hormones / metabolism
  • Insecta / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / metabolism


  • Insect Hormones
  • Oligopeptides
  • adipokinetic hormone
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid