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Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes - An Adipocentric View

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As a result of selecting triglycerides as the major vehicle for storing superfluous energy, evolution came up with a specialized cell type, the adipocyte, equipped to handle triglycerides and its potentially toxic metabolites - fatty acids. For the first time in history large human populations are subjected a wealth of cheap, accessible and palatable calories. This has created a situation, on a large scale not previously encountered, in which the capacity to store triglycerides in adipocytes is an important determinant of human health. Too few adipocytes (e.g. lipodystrophia) or a situation in which all adipocytes are filled, to their maximum capacity (e.g. severe obesity), will create very similar and unfavorable metabolic situations in which ectopic triglyceride stores will appear in tissues like liver and muscle. This review sets out to discuss the adipocyte and its role in metabolism as well as the consequences of a metabolic situation, in which the adipocyte has lost its fat storing monopoly.

Keywords: Adipocentric View; Insulin Resistance; lipodystrophia; triglycerides

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: March 1, 2003

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  • Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing the readership with current and comprehensive reviews on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. The reviews should be of significant interest to basic researchers and clinical investigators in molecular medicine. Periodically the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a basic research area that shows promise to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of a disease or has potential for clinical applications.

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