Guest edited by Dr Emilio Mottillo and Professor Gregory Steinberg.
This Biochemical Journal collection addresses current research and emerging concepts on Adipose Tissue Biology in health and disease. Adipose tissue consists of white adipose tissue, whose main function is to store excess energy and brown adipose, a thermogenic organ that functions to maintain core body temperature. This classification of adipose tissue into brown and white is simplistic as adipose tissue is a heterogenous organ and highly plastic with the capability to interconvert between white, brown and beige in response to various physiological stimuli. Adipose tissue consists of multiple cell types including adipocytes, progenitors, immune cells and endothelial cells that interact and communicate with one another to maintain tissue homeostasis. At the whole-body level, adipose tissue supplies fatty acids as fuel to organs such as muscle through the biochemical process of lipolysis. From a therapeutic standpoint there is much interest in studying adipose tissue as brown fat has great capacity to burn energy and could be a possible anti-obesity treatment, and the dysfunction of white fat is implicated in numerous metabolic diseases such as diabetes. This collection will highlight recent advances in the understanding of adipose tissue including thermogenic adipocytes, single cell approaches to understand cellular heterogeneity, UCP1-independent thermogenesis, mechanisms of adipocyte lipolysis, adaptions of white adipose tissue during exercise, the role of inflammation in the regulation of adipose tissue metabolism and characterization of adipose surface epitopes. Additional topics include the role of pesticide exposure on adipose tissue, epigenetic regulation of the thermogenic program and characterization of human brown fat metabolism.