Adipose tissue as an endocrine organ
The biological role of adipose tissue has been evolving over recent years. Initially viewed predominantly as a site for storage of excess energy, to be released when needed under the regulation of endocrine and neural inputs, the adipose cell should now be viewed as well as a bone fide endocrine gland. Secreted products include major regulators of energybalance, insulin sensitivity, the vascular system, neuroendocrine function, and inflammatory pathways.
Leptin is a critical adipose-derived hormone, and several features of its action and inaction will be reviewed. The status of leptin resistance as a common aspect of obesity will be assessed, with particular attention to the role of SOCS3.