Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Adipose tissue is derived from lipoblasts. Its main role is to store energy in the form of fat, although it also cushions and insulates the body.
Obesity or being overweight in humans and most animals does not depend on body weight but on the amount of body fat—to be specific, adipose tissue.
Two types of adipose tissue exist: white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Adipose tissue also serves as an important endocrine organ by producing hormones such as leptin, resistin, and the cytokine.
The formation of adipose tissue appears to be controlled by the adipose gene. Adipose tissue was first identified by the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner in 1551.
In a severely obese person, excess adipose tissue hanging downward from the abdomen is referred to as a panniculus (or pannus).
A panniculus complicates surgery of the morbidly obese. The panniculus may remain as a literal "apron of skin" if a severely obese person quickly loses large amounts of fat (a common result of gastric bypass surgery).
This condition cannot be effectively corrected through diet and exercise alone, as the panniculus consists of adipocytes and other supporting cell types shrunken to their minimum volume and diameter.
Reconstructive surgery is one method of treatment.