, Volume 67, Issue 8, pp 1277-1292,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 27 Jan 2010

Adipocyte extracellular matrix composition, dynamics and role in obesity

Abstract

The central role of the adipose tissue in lipid metabolism places specific demands on the cell structure of adipocytes. The protein composition and dynamics of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is of crucial importance for the functioning of those cells. Adipogenesis is a bi-phasic process in which the ECM develops from a fibrillar to a laminar structure as cells move from the commitment phase to the growth phase characterized by storage of vast amounts of triglycerides. Mature adipocytes appear to spend a lot of energy on the maintenance of the ECM. ECM remodeling is mediated by a balanced complement of constructive and destructive enzymes together with their enhancers and inhibitors. ECM remodeling is an energy costing process regulated by insulin, by the energy metabolism, and by mechanical forces. In the obese, overgrowth of adipocytes may lead to instability of the ECM, possibly mediated by hypoxia.