Feast and famine: Adipose tissue adaptations for healthy aging

Daniele Lettieri Barbato, Katia Aquilano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proper adipose tissue function controls energy balance with favourable effects on metabolic health and longevity. The molecular and metabolic asset of adipose tissue quickly and dynamically readapts in response to nutrient fluctuations. Once delivered into cells, nutrients are managed by mitochondria that represent a key bioenergetics node. A persistent nutrient overload generates mitochondrial exhaustion and uncontrolled reactive oxygen species (mtROS) production. In adipocytes, metabolic/molecular reorganization is triggered culminating in the acquirement of a hypertrophic and hypersecretory phenotype that accelerates aging. Conversely, dietary regimens such as caloric restriction or time-controlled fasting endorse mitochondrial functionality and mtROS-mediated signalling, thus promoting geroprotection. In this perspective view, we argued some important molecular and metabolic aspects related to adipocyte response to nutrient stress. Finally we delineated hypothetical routes by which molecularly and metabolically readapted adipose tissue promotes healthy aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • FoxO1
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Longevity
  • Mitochondria
  • Nutrient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology


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