Adipose tissue plasticity from WAT to BAT and in between

Yun Hee Lee, Emilio P. Mottillo, James G. Granneman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


Adipose tissue plays an essential role in regulating energy balance through its metabolic, cellular and endocrine functions. Adipose tissue has been historically classified into anabolic white adipose tissue and catabolic brown adipose tissue. An explosion of new data, however, points to the remarkable heterogeneity among the cells types that can become adipocytes, as well as the inherent metabolic plasticity of mature cells. These data indicate that targeting cellular and metabolic plasticity of adipose tissue might provide new avenues for treatment of obesity-related diseases. This review will discuss the developmental origins of adipose tissue, the cellular complexity of adipose tissues, and the identification of progenitors that contribute to adipogenesis throughout development. We will touch upon the pathological remodeling of adipose tissue and discuss how our understanding of adipose tissue remodeling can uncover new therapeutic targets. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Modulation of Adipose Tissue in Health and Disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-369
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants RO1DK076629 and RO1DK62292 . E.P. Mottillo was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Doctoral Research Award MDR-214349 . We thank Rachel Granneman for editorial assistance.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Adipose tissue plasticity from WAT to BAT and in between'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this