Where fat cells come from

Database Center for Life Science (DBCLS) [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

The mammalian body uses two types of fat cells, brown and white adipocytes, to store energy. The number of adipocytes in the body changes with age and body mass and also varies with gender. In addition, there are functional variations among adipocytes from different body locations (or depots). Changes in adiposity, especially the accumulation of fat in deep abdominal (or visceral) depots and inflammation, are related to health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease in humans. The precise reasons why such changes result in illness have been the focus of many studies on obesity and health. A recent study reported by Susan M. Majka and Dwight J. Klemm (University of Colorado, Aurora) helps to elucidate this relationship by identifying a new group of adipocytes derived from bone marrow progenitor (BMP) cells.

Lab Anim. (NY) 39, 245 (2010).
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