Sex-dependent depot differences in adipose tissue development and function; Role of sex steroids

Mi Jeong Lee, Susan K. Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Men and women are different in their fat mass and distribution pattern. The gynoid-type fat distribution, accumulation in lower-body, is considered to be protective while the android-type accumulation in upper-body, both in abdominal subcutaneous and visceral depots, is detrimental. Sex-dependent depot differences in adipose metabolic and endocrine functions are thought to contribute to the sexual disparity in fat distribution as well as its association with cardiometabolic risks. Although molecular details have not been completely elucidated, available evidence shows that sex steroid hormones are important factors governing sexual dimorphism in adipose tissue distribution and hence, risks for metabolic diseases. We will review sex-dependent heterogeneities in adipose tissue properties that can link their depot-specific biology to metabolic complications in men and women. In addition, we will also review how sex steroids regulate adipose tissue biology, both development and functional characteristics, with emphasis on their depot-dependent actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Adipocyte biology
  • Androgen
  • Estrogen
  • Fat distribution


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