Exercise regulation of adipose tissue

Adipocyte. 2016 May 18;5(2):153-62. doi: 10.1080/21623945.2016.1191307. eCollection Apr-Jun 2016.


Exercise training results in adaptations to numerous organ systems and offers protection against metabolic disorders including obesity and type 2 diabetes, and recent reports suggest that adipose tissue may play a role in these beneficial effects of exercise on overall health. Multiple studies have investigated the effects of exercise training on both white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT), as well as the induction of beige adipocytes. Studies from both rodents and humans show that there are exercise training-induced changes in WAT including decreased cell size and lipid content, and increased mitochondrial activity. In rodents, exercise training causes an increased beiging of WAT. Whether exercise training causes a beiging of human scWAT, as well as which factors contribute to the exercise-induced beiging of WAT are areas of current investigation. Studies investigating the effects of exercise training on BAT mass and function have yielded conflicting data, and hence, is another area of intensive investigation. This review will focus on studies aimed at elucidating the mechanisms regulating exercise training induced-adaptations to adipose tissue.

Keywords: beiging; brown adipose tissue; exercise; myokines; white adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Review