During the past two decades, growth and development of white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT) has been extensively studied in 0199-9885/92/0715-0207$02.00 AILHAUD, GRIMALDI & NEGREL various mammals and humans. Despite a wealth of data, key information is lacking regarding the origin of fat cells and is minimal regarding adipose tissue development during embryogenesis and after birth . However, the relationships between WAT and BAT and the molecular mechanisms leading to adipose cell differentiation are now better understood. Quite recently , the importance of adipose tissue as an endocrine, autocrine, and intracrine organ has been established. In this review we examine the current understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that ultimately determine the hyperplastic development of adipose tissue, and we discuss some of the controversial issues. When needed, references to older but important work are included. Adipocytes represent between one third and two thirds of the total number of cells in adipose tissue. The remaining cells are various blood cells, endothelial cells , pericytes , adipose precursor cells of varying degree of differentiation, and, most likely, fibroblasts (54). Over the past few years, convincing evidence has accumulated concerning the existence of very small fat cells
Annual Review of Nutrition – Annual Reviews
Published: Jul 1, 1992
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