Adipocytes and adipose tissue are not inert and make substantial contributions to systemic metabolism by influencing energy homeostasis, insulin sensitivity, and lipid storage. In addition to well-studied hormones such as insulin, there are numerous hormones, cytokines, and growth factors that modulate adipose tissue function. Many endocrine mediators utilize the JAK–STAT pathway to mediate dozens of biological processes, including inflammation and immune responses. JAKs and STATs can modulate both adipocyte development and mature adipocyte function. Of the seven STAT family members, four STATs are expressed in adipocytes and regulated during adipogenesis (STATs 1, 3, 5A, and 5B). These STATs have been shown to play influential roles in adipose tissue development and function. STAT6, in contrast, is highly expressed in both preadipocytes and mature adipocytes, but is not considered to play a major role in regulating adipose tissue function. This review will summarize the latest research that pertains to the functions of STATs in adipocytes and adipose tissue.

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