Adipose Tissue as an Endocrine Organ and its Role in Obesity

Grace Halsey

Healthy white adipose tissue helps regulate endocrine activity that protects metabolic function. Dr Caroline Apovian explains how this function deteriorates as obesity progresses.

White adipose tissue in a normal state generates signals to multiple types of body tissue and the immune system. The resulting physiologic and cellular changes ultimately confer protection from lipotoxicity and metabolic dysfunction.

In response to overfeeding, however, adipose tissue itself becomes a source of toxic inflammatory cytokines. Obesity expert and widely published investigator Caroline Apovian, MD, explains what happens as the disease of obesity progresses.

Caroline M. Apovian, MD, is professor of medicine and pediatrics, in the section of endocrinology, diabetes, and nutrition at Boston University School of Medicine and the director of the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at Boston Medical Center.

Dr. Apovian is an internationally recognized authority on nutrition, metabolism, and obesity medicine and has been in the field for nearly 3 decades.

Her current research interests are in: weight loss/gain and its effects on adipose tissue metabolism and inflammation, obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD), resolution of diabetes and CVD in the bariatric surgery population, disparities in the treatment of obesity in underserved populations and novel pharmacotherapeutic agents for the treatment of obesity.