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Adipose tissue lipolysis

Kolditz, Catherine-Inesa,b; Langin, Dominiquea,b,c

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: July 2010 - Volume 13 - Issue 4 - p 377–381
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833bed6a
Genes and cell metabolism: Edited by Nada Abumrad and Samuel Klein

Purpose of review Adipose tissue lipolysis is a critical pathway for the maintenance of energy homeostasis through the degradation of triglycerides and the release of fatty acids into the circulation. The understanding of the cellular factors regulating triglyceride hydrolysis and the metabolic function of lipases has considerably expanded in the last few years, revealing an unexpected complexity. This review aims at describing recent discoveries related to the lipolytic pathway and its regulatory mechanisms.

Recent findings Considerable progress has been made in understanding the role and the mechanisms of activation of the lipolytic enzymes. Recent discoveries have dramatically altered the view of adipose tissue lipolysis and highlighted the importance of additional molecular actors in regulating this process. Catecholamines, natriuretic peptides, and insulin are considered to be the major regulators of lipolysis in humans. However, autocrine/paracrine factors such as metabolites and prostaglandins may also participate in its regulation.

Summary The manipulation of lipolysis has therapeutic potential in the metabolic disorders frequently associated with obesity. Unraveling the molecular events occurring during regulation of lipolysis may lead to novel therapeutic targets.

aInserm, Unité 858, Obesity Research Laboratory, France

bPaul Sabatier University, Rangueil Institute of Molecular Medicine (I2MR), IFR150, France

cCHU de Toulouse, Biochemistry Laboratory, Purpan Institute of Biology, Toulouse, France

Correspondence to Dominique Langin, Laboratoire de recherches sur les Obésités, Equipe 4, Unité Inserm U858, Institut de Médecine Moléculaire de Rangueil, 1 Avenue Jean Poulhès, 31432 Toulouse Cedex 4, France Tel: +33 561325628; fax: +33 561325623; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.