Adipose tissue is the collections of cells in the body that primarily store fat. These collections of cells are widely distributed and occur in all land mammals. Adipose deposits and adipose tissue appear during the latter part of gestation. Adipose tissue was long thought to be primarily a storage site for triglycerides, but it is now recognized to participate as an active endocrine tissue in the secretion of many peptides, cytokines, and metabolic products.

The 2 most important peptides produced by adipose tissue are leptin and adiponectin. Leptin, first identified in 1994, is a cytokine-like peptide that is released from adipose tissue and signals the brain about the quantity of body fat. Thus, its concentration is directly related to total body fat. When a genetic defect ...

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