Bone marrow adipose tissue: formation, function and regulation

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The human body requires an uninterrupted supply of energy to maintain metabolic homeostasis and energy balance. To sustain energy balance, excess consumed calories are stored as glycogen, triglycerides and protein, allowing the body to continue to function in states of starvation and increased energy expenditure. Adipose tissue provides the largest natural store of excess calories as triglycerides and plays an important role as an endocrine organ in energy homeostasis and beyond. This short review is intended to detail the current knowledge of the formation and role of bone marrow adipose tissue (MAT), a largely ignored adipose depot, focussing on the role of MAT as an endocrine organ and highlighting the pharmacological agents that regulate MAT.

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