There has been an upsurge of interest in the adipocyte coincident with the onset of the obesity epidemic and the realization that adipose tissue plays a major role in the regulation of metabolic function. The past few years, in particular, have seen significant changes in the way that we classify adipocytes and how we view adipose development and differentiation. We have new perspective on the roles played by adipocytes in a variety of homeostatic processes and on the mechanisms used by adipocytes to communicate with other tissues. Finally, there has been significant progress in understanding how these relationships are altered during metabolic disease and how they might be manipulated to restore metabolic health.
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