Metabolic adaptation and maladaptation in adipose tissue

Edward T. Chouchani1,2 and Shingo Kajimura 3,4,5
Nat Metab.
Publication Date: 
Mon, 2019-01-21
1Department of Cancer Biology, Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA. 2Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. 3Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. 4UCSF Diabetes Center, San Francisco, CA, USA. 5Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Adipose tissue possesses the remarkable capacity to control its size and function in response to a variety of internal and exter- nal cues, such as nutritional status and temperature. The regulatory circuits of fuel storage and oxidation in white adipocytes and thermogenic adipocytes (brown and beige adipocytes) play a central role in systemic energy homeostasis, whereas dysreg- ulation of the pathways is closely associated with metabolic disorders and adipose tissue malfunction, including obesity, insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and fibrosis. Recent studies have uncovered new regulatory ele- ments that control the above parameters and provide new mechanistic opportunities to reprogram fat cell fate and function. In this Review, we provide an overview of the current understanding of adipocyte metabolism in physiology and disease and also discuss possible strategies to alter fuel utilization in fat cells to improve metabolic health.