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White Adipocyte Plasticity in Physiology and Disease

Authors
  • bielczyk-maczynska, ewa
Publication Date
Nov 25, 2019
Source
MDPI
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Cellular plasticity is a transformation of a terminally differentiated cell into another cell type, which has been long known to occur in disease and regeneration. However, white adipocytes (fat cells) have only recently been observed to undergo different types of cellular plasticity. Adipocyte transdifferentiation into myofibroblasts and cancer-associated fibroblasts occurs in fibrosis and cancer, respectively. On the other hand, reversible adipocyte dedifferentiation into adipocyte progenitor cells (preadipocytes) has been demonstrated in mammary gland and in dermal adipose tissue. Here we discuss the research on adipocyte plasticity, including the experimental approaches that allowed to detect and study it, the current state of the knowledge, major research questions which remain to be addressed, and the advances required to stimulate adipocyte plasticity research. In the future, the knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of adipocyte plasticity can be utilized both to prevent adipocyte plasticity in disease and to stimulate it for use in regenerative medicine.

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