A função endócrina do tecido adiposo

Wagner de Jesus Pinto

Resumo


Atualmente considera-se o tecido adiposo como uma estrutura dinâmica, envolvida em muitos processos fisiológicos e metabólicos, que produz e libera uma grande variedade de peptídeos ativos conhecidos pelo nome genérico de adipocinas, que atuam exercendo efeitos endócrinos, parácrinos e autócrinos. Além disso, expressa inúmeros receptores que lhe permite responder a sinais aferentes oriundos de órgãos endócrinos e também do sistema nervoso central. Em 1987, o tecido adiposo foi identificado como o maior sítio de metabolização de hormônios esteroides, subsequentemente, em 1994, reconheceu-se o tecido adiposo como um órgão endócrino, sendo a leptina um de seus primeiros produtos de secreção identificados. Além da leptina, outras substâncias biologicamente ativas foram sendo isoladas, tais como adiponectina, resistina, TNF-a, interleucina-6, dentre outros. As adipocinas oriundas do tecido adiposo modulam diversos parâmetros metabólicos, tais como controle da ingestão alimentar, balanço energético e sensibilidade periférica à insulina, por exemplo. Assim, a secreção alterada de adipocinas por parte do tecido adiposo pode ter efeitos metabólicos complexos, podendo apresentar relações com o processo fisiopatológico da obesidade, disfunções endoteliais, inflamações, aterosclerose e diabetes melito. O entendimento dos processos moleculares que ocorrem no adipócito pode nos prover novas ferramentas para o tratamento de condições fisiopatológicas, como, por exemplo, a síndrome metabólica, obesidade e diabetes melito. 


Palavras-chave


tecido adiposo; adipocinas; sistema endócrino

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