Human aging is characterized by dramatic changes in body mass composition that include a general increase of the total fat mass. Within the fat mass, a change in the proportions of adipose tissues also occurs with aging, affecting body metabolism, and playing a central role in many chronic diseases, including insulin resistance, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and type II diabetes. In mammals, fat accumulates as white (WAT) and brown (BAT) adipose tissue, which differ both in morphology and function. While WAT is involved in lipid storage and immuno-endocrine responses, BAT is aimed at generating heat. With advancing age BAT declines, while WAT increases reaching the maximum peak by early old age and changes its distribution toward a higher proportion of visceral WAT. However, lipids tend to accumulate also within lipid droplets (LDs) in non-adipose tissues, including muscle, liver, and heart. The excess of such ectopic lipid deposition and the alteration of LD homeostasis contribute to the pathogenesis of the above-mentioned age-related diseases. It is not clear why age-associated tissue remodeling seems to lean toward lipid deposition as a "default program." However, it can be noted that such remodeling is not inevitably detrimental. In fact, such a programmed redistribution of fat throughout life could be considered physiological and even protective, in particular at extreme old age. In this regard, it has to be considered that an excessive decrease of subcutaneous peripheral fat is associated with a pro-inflammatory status, and a decrease of LD is associated with lipotoxicity leading to an increased risk of insulin resistance, type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. At variance, a balanced rate of fat content and distribution has beneficial effects for health and metabolic homeostasis, positively affecting longevity. In this review, we will summarize the present knowledge on the mechanisms of the age-related changes in lipid distribution and we will discuss how fat mass negatively or positively impacts on human health and longevity.

The Dual Role of the Pervasive "Fattish" Tissue Remodeling With Age

Conte M;Martucci M;Franceschi C;Salvioli S
2019

Abstract

Human aging is characterized by dramatic changes in body mass composition that include a general increase of the total fat mass. Within the fat mass, a change in the proportions of adipose tissues also occurs with aging, affecting body metabolism, and playing a central role in many chronic diseases, including insulin resistance, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and type II diabetes. In mammals, fat accumulates as white (WAT) and brown (BAT) adipose tissue, which differ both in morphology and function. While WAT is involved in lipid storage and immuno-endocrine responses, BAT is aimed at generating heat. With advancing age BAT declines, while WAT increases reaching the maximum peak by early old age and changes its distribution toward a higher proportion of visceral WAT. However, lipids tend to accumulate also within lipid droplets (LDs) in non-adipose tissues, including muscle, liver, and heart. The excess of such ectopic lipid deposition and the alteration of LD homeostasis contribute to the pathogenesis of the above-mentioned age-related diseases. It is not clear why age-associated tissue remodeling seems to lean toward lipid deposition as a "default program." However, it can be noted that such remodeling is not inevitably detrimental. In fact, such a programmed redistribution of fat throughout life could be considered physiological and even protective, in particular at extreme old age. In this regard, it has to be considered that an excessive decrease of subcutaneous peripheral fat is associated with a pro-inflammatory status, and a decrease of LD is associated with lipotoxicity leading to an increased risk of insulin resistance, type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. At variance, a balanced rate of fat content and distribution has beneficial effects for health and metabolic homeostasis, positively affecting longevity. In this review, we will summarize the present knowledge on the mechanisms of the age-related changes in lipid distribution and we will discuss how fat mass negatively or positively impacts on human health and longevity.
FRONTIERS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY
Conte M, Martucci M, Sandri M, Franceschi C, Salvioli S
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/685341
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