adipose tissue

adipose tissue

Adipose tissue. The large empty looking structures are adipocytes (fat cells). Credit: University of Saskatuwan Biology Dept.

Adipose tissue is connective tissue, of a dense and irregular nature, in which fat is stored and in which the cells, known as adipocytes, are distended by droplets of fat. Adipose tissue is found chiefly beneath the skin, within the abdomen, and in layers around major organs such as the heart and kidneys. It serves as an energy reserve, provides thermal insulation (especially in babies) and protection, and generates heat.


There are two kinds of adipose tissue: white and brown. The distribution of both these kinds is not uniform, but white adipose tissue is the more common. After puberty, the distribution of superficial adipose tissue differs in males and females. It makes up a larger proportion of the total body weight of women than of men. Excessive amounts of adipose tissue lead to obesity.


Compare with areolar tissue.