Adipose Tissue
Adipose Tissue

What Is Adipose Tissue: Location, Characteristics, Classification, and Function – Did you know that what makes humans or animals obese is not the weight, but the existence of adipose tissue.

What is adipose tissue, its characteristics, and its usefulness for the human body? We’ll learn about it in the article below.

What is Adipose Tissue?

Adipose tissue is a special connective tissue made up of lipid or fat-rich cells called adipocytes. Adipocytes are energy storage cells that contain large clumps of fat and are surrounded by fibers.

In healthy individuals, adipose tissue weight is about 20-25% of total body weight. In addition to fat cells, adipose tissue also contains many nerve cells and blood vessels.

Adipose tissue is connective tissue that is formed during differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into adipocytes during the development of the fetus.

Mesenchymal stem cells are pluripotent stem cells that can turn into different types of cells. In addition to being adipocyte fat cells, pluripotent cells can also differentiate into bone cells, cartilage cells, and muscle cells.

In addition to adipocytes, there are several other types of cells in adipose tissue, namely:

  • Preadipocytes
  • Fibroblasts
  • Capillary endothelial cells
  • Macrophages
  • Stem cells

These non-adipocyte cells together will form a vascular fraction of the stroma that has the main function of supporting and protecting adipose tissue.

Adipose Tissue Location

Under the skin and between fats is the location of the fat tissue. Not only that place, fat tissue is located in the breast and in the spinal cord of the human body. But in the female body, this tissue is widely found in the buttocks and breasts.

Based on the notion of adipose tissue, this indicates that in the body women store excess fat. The body will feel fatty and this fat tissue has a large amount. There are many hormones created, including TNF Alpha, II-6, and leptin.

Adipose Tissue Characteristics

Adipose tissue is connective tissue consisting of fat cells or adipose cells. Adipose tissue has the following characteristics:

  • It consists of fat cells, white blood cells, nerve cells, endothelial cells, white blood cells, and fibroblasts.
  • Storing energy in the form of fat.
  • It is found under the skin, between the muscles, around the heart, kidneys, and intestines.
  • Direct contact with blood vessels.
  • Produces hormones to aid the metabolic process.
  • It consists of white, brown, and beige adipose tissue.

Adipose Tissue Classification

Fat tissue is divided into three classifications, namely:

White Adipose Tissue

White adipose tissue consists of white fat cells with large vacuoles and few mitochondria. White adipose tissue serves as a storage of triglyceride fat and as an endocrine organ.

As an endocrine organ, white adipose tissue can release hormones that help metabolic processes and endocrine function. Examples of hormones secreted by white adipose tissue are leptin, visfatin, apelin, estrogen, resistin, and interleukins.

Brown Adipose Tissue

Brown adipose tissue consists of fat cells consisting of many vacuoles, mitochondria, and blood vessels that turn them brown. Brown adipose tissue serves to burn energy and generate heat.

Brown fat is widely owned by human babies and newborn animals to protect it from hypothermia. As you age, brown adipose tissue will get less and less.

Brown adipose tissue also plays an important role in maintaining the body of an animal that is hibernating to keep it warm and functional.

Beige Adipose Tissue

Beige adipose tissue has the function of releasing heat like brown adipose but can increase its energy burning depending on the response to the cold.

Adipose Tissue Function

After knowing the meaning adipose tissue, now must know its function. This fat tissue will form hormones and protectors in the internal organs. Able to store energy in the human body in the form of fat.

Fat tissue also serves as a release or expend energy in the body. As tissues capable of oxidizing fatty acids and glucose, it is useful for maintaining thermogenesis or body heat.

As for the system of maintaining body heat with the influence of the nervous system and hormones in the body. Later it will give a response in the body in the form of stressful situations or emergencies.

That’s the definition of adipose tissue and its classification. It turns out that this tissue is very functional in the organ system of the body.


  • Image: BruceBlaus. When using this image in external sources it can be cited staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436., CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Last Updated on February 27, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team