Adipose tissue remodeling and obesity

J Clin Invest. 2011 Jun;121(6):2094-101. doi: 10.1172/JCI45887. Epub 2011 Jun 1.


To fulfill its role as the major energy-storing tissue, adipose has several unique properties that cannot be seen in any other organ, including an almost unlimited capacity to expand in a non-transformed state. As such, the tissue requires potent mechanisms to remodel, acutely and chronically. Adipocytes can rapidly reach the diffusional limit of oxygen during growth; hypoxia is therefore an early determinant that limits healthy expansion. Proper expansion requires a highly coordinated response among many different cell types, including endothelial precursor cells, immune cells, and preadipocytes. There are therefore remarkable similarities between adipose expansion and growth of solid tumors, a phenomenon that presents both an opportunity and a challenge, since pharmacological interventions supporting healthy adipose tissue adaptation can also facilitate tumor growth.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adipocytes / physiology
  • Adipose Tissue / blood supply
  • Adipose Tissue / growth & development
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Size
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Macrophages / classification
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Weight Loss / physiology


  • Fatty Acids