POSSIBLE ROLES OF EPIPLOIC APPENDAGES

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Historically, only the energy storage function had been attributed to adipose tissue. However, recent studies have shown that it is also able to secrete several substances which act in a paracrine or endocrine manner, contributing to the maintenance of or-ganism’s homeostasis. It has been reported that the visceral fat has distinctive secret-ing characteristics. Based on previous scientific observations, here we shall describe the possible functional role of epiploic appendages. The epiploic appendages may play an important role in the metabolic regulation and/or in immune defense through the secretion of specific factors, such as leptin and some inflammatory cytokines. Leptin has been seen to be involved both in the regulation of hunger signals, in coordination with the hypothalamus, and in complex immune defense processes. The exact under-standing of the behavior of this hormone could play a key role in understanding the functions ascribed to the epiploic appendages.

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