The different shades of fat

Nature. 2014 Jun 5;510(7503):76-83. doi: 10.1038/nature13477.


Our understanding of adipose tissue biology has progressed rapidly since the turn of the century. White adipose tissue has emerged as a key determinant of healthy metabolism and metabolic dysfunction. This realization is paralleled only by the confirmation that adult humans have heat-dissipating brown adipose tissue, an important contributor to energy balance and a possible therapeutic target for the treatment of metabolic disease. We propose that the development of successful strategies to target brown and white adipose tissues will depend on investigations that elucidate their developmental origins and cell-type-specific functional regulators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adipogenesis
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / embryology
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / innervation
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue, White / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue, White / embryology
  • Adipose Tissue, White / innervation
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue, White / pathology
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lipolysis
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / metabolism
  • Thermogenesis