Aging and adipose tissue: potential interventions for diabetes and regenerative medicine

Allyson K. Palmer, James L. Kirkland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Adipose tissue dysfunction occurs with aging and has systemic effects, including peripheral insulin resistance, ectopic lipid deposition, and inflammation. Fundamental aging mechanisms, including cellular senescence and progenitor cell dysfunction, occur in adipose tissue with aging and may serve as potential therapeutic targets in age-related disease. In this review, we examine the role of adipose tissue in healthy individuals and explore how aging leads to adipose tissue dysfunction, redistribution, and changes in gene regulation. Adipose tissue plays a central role in longevity, and interventions restricted to adipose tissue may impact lifespan. Conversely, obesity may represent a state of accelerated aging. We discuss the potential therapeutic potential of targeting basic aging mechanisms, including cellular senescence, in adipose tissue, using type II diabetes and regenerative medicine as examples. We make the case that aging should not be neglected in the study of adipose-derived stem cells for regenerative medicine strategies, as elderly patients make up a large portion of individuals in need of such therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Dec 15 2016


  • Adipose Tissue
  • Aging
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Preadipocyte
  • Stem Cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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