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SPECIAL ISSUE: The biology of fat




Summary: This Review focuses on recent discoveries relating to the biology and physiological regulation of adipocyte development in fish.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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