Cover: In vitro differentiated murine brown adipocytes, stained for lipids (green), F-actin (red) and DNA (blue), are an excellent tool to study the role of adipocytes in energy homeostasis and the endocrine regulation of metabolism. While white adipose tissue is the primary site for storing excess energy, brown adipocytes expend energy through mitochondrial uncoupling. Adipose is organized into individual depots distributed throughout the body, with distinct metabolic and physiological functions. Moreover, individual adipose depots are composed of multiple distinct adipocyte lineages defining their function. Schoettl and colleagues (jeb162958) review the metabolic role of individual adipose depots and the contribution of individual adipocyte lineages. Picture credit: Ruth Karlina and Kenji Schorpp, Helmholtz Zentrum München.
- PDF Icon PDF LinkTable of contents
- PDF Icon PDF LinkIssue info
SPECIAL ISSUE: The biology of fat
Adipogenesis in fish
Summary: This Review focuses on recent discoveries relating to the biology and physiological regulation of adipocyte development in fish.
Are we what we eat? Changes to the feed fatty acid composition of farmed salmon and its effects through the food chain
Summary: This Review describes how dietary fat affects body fat, and how changing diets of farmed fish affect the fillet fatty acids and hence the health benefits for human consumers.
Adipose morphology and metabolic disease
Summary: This Review discusses current literature on adipose morphology, which is defined as the number and size distribution of adipocytes within adipose tissue, and is associated with cardiometabolic disease.
Heterogeneity of adipose tissue in development and metabolic function
Summary: A detailed overview of distinct adipose tissue depots and their differential impact on whole-body physiology and metabolism, describing the complexity of white adipose tissue precursor populations forming adipose tissue depots.
The evolution of body fatness: trading off disease and predation risk
Summary: Body fat is essential to survival – but having too much is detrimental. This paper develops an evolutionary model where disease risk pushes fat storage up while predation risk pushes it down. These patterns result in a system with dual intervention points at low and high levels of adiposity.
The effect of diet and exercise on lipid droplet dynamics in human muscle tissue
Summary: Intramyocellular lipid droplets represent a highly dynamic pool of lipids, which can adjust to alterations in muscle energy supply and demand and can be modulated by both diet and exercise.
Fructose-containing caloric sweeteners as a cause of obesity and metabolic disorders
Summary: Fructose is initially metabolized by fructolysis, gluconeogenesis or lipogenesis in the gut, liver and kidneys, and then made available as lactate, glucose and fatty acids in extrasplanchnic tissues. This two-step metabolism may have important functional consequences for health.
Non-adrenergic control of lipolysis and thermogenesis in adipose tissues
Summary: In this Review, we discuss adrenergic and non-adrenergic mechanisms controlling lipolysis and thermogenesis in adipocytes and provide a comprehensive overview of pro- and anti-lipolytic mediators.
Obese super athletes: fat-fueled migration in birds and bats
Summary: Migratory birds and bats have exceptional abilities to use fat as a fuel for high intensity exercise (flight). This Review examines fat storage and use in these amazing endurance specialists.
The many roles of fats in overwintering insects
Summary: We explore the evidence that insects subsist on fat overwinter, the consequences of subzero temperatures for fat metabolism, and some of the emerging functional roles of fat in overwintering insects.
Adiposity and fat metabolism during combined fasting and lactation in elephant seals
Summary: The northern elephant seal is capable of mobilizing a tremendous amount of lipid very rapidly, and does so during the rare combination of fasting and lactation.
Function and evolution of specialized endogenous lipids in toothed whales
Summary: This article reviews the origins, functions and potential evolution of unusual lipids synthesized by toothed whales in blubber and in the specialized cranial adipose tissues used for echolocation and hearing.
Nature's fat-burning machine: brown adipose tissue in a hibernating mammal
Summary: In this Review, we discuss recent research progress that has identified players and pathways involved in brown adipocyte differentiation and maturation, as well as those involved in metabolic regulation.
Insights into brown adipose tissue evolution and function from non-model organisms
Summary: The diversity of mammalian species from different ecological niches stretches the physiological and molecular scope of brown adipose tissue, thus baring pivotal clues to fully understand the importance of this heater organ.
Genomic imprinting, growth and maternal–fetal interactions
Summary: Imprinted gene products act as fetal and placental endocrine signals during reproduction, as well as directly on maternal tissues to modulate energetic set points that affect nutrient provisioning during pregnancy.
Exercise-induced adaptations to white and brown adipose tissue
Summary: Discussion of studies examining the exercise-induced adaptations to white and brown adipose tissue, and the effects that these exercise-induced adaptations have on overall metabolic health.
Drosophila as a model to study obesity and metabolic disease
Summary: An unrivalled methodological toolbox combined with a complex, evolutionarily conserved physiology uniquely qualifies the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a platform on which to study obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders.
Meet the JEB Editors @ SEB 2023
Come and meet the JEB team at the Society for Experimental Biology centenary conference from 4-7 July in Edinburgh, UK. Visit exhibition stand 13/15 to pick up JEB centenary goodies, including our new ‘100 years of discovery’ T shirt, and join our Meet the JEB Editors event on Thursday 6 July at 12.30 at Platform 5 to find out more about the journal and chat to Editors including EiC Craig Franklin, Monitoring Editors Sanjay Sane, Trish Schulte and John Terblanche and the in-house News and Reviews team.
New funding schemes for junior faculty staff
In celebration of our 100th anniversary, JEB has launched two new grants to support junior faculty staff working in animal comparative physiology and biomechanics who are within five years of setting up their first lab/research group. Check out our ECR Visiting Fellowships and Research Partnership Kickstart Travel Grants. First deadline for applications is 15 July 2023.
JEB@100: an interview with Monitoring Editor Katie Gilmour
Katie Gilmour tells us how she first encountered the JEB Editorial team as a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, UK, and how she would like to have a Star Trek tricorder to monitor fish non-invasively in the field.
The Forest of Biologists
The Forest of Biologists is a biodiversity initiative created by The Company of Biologists, with support from the Woodland Trust. For every Research and Review article published in Journal of Experimental Biology a native tree is planted in a UK forest. In addition to this we are protecting and restoring ancient woodland and are dedicating these trees to our peer reviewers. Visit our virtual forest to learn more.
Centenary Review - Adaptive echolocation behavior
Cynthia F. Moss and colleagues Review the behaviours used by echolocating mammals to track and intercept moving prey, interrogate dynamic sonar scenes, and exploit visual and passive acoustic stimuli.
Crucial DNA at crux of insect wing size evolution
Keity Farfán-Pira and colleagues have revealed that a tiny region of regulatory DNA in the vestigial gene governs whether insect wings are large or small and has played a key role in the evolution of insect wing size.