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Cell Biology International (2010) 34, 1051–1053 (Printed in Great Britain)
Review article
Neuroadipology: a novel component of neuroendocrinology
George N Chaldakov*1, Marco Fiore†, Anton B Tonchev* and Luigi Aloe†
*Division of Cell Biology, Medical University, Varna, Bulgaria, and †Institute for Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine, National Research CouncilEuropean Brain Research Institute, Rome, Italy


Adipose tissue is a dynamic endocrine and paracrine organ producing a large number of signalling proteins collectively termed adipokines. Some of them are mediators in the cross-talk between adipose tissue and the brain in regulating food intake and energy homoeostasis. However, the hypothalamus is not the only brain target for adipokines, and food intake is not the only biological effect of these signals. Rather, some adipokines support various cognitive functions and exert neurotrophic activity. Current data on adipose-derived neuropeptides, neurotrophic factors, pituitary hormones and hypothalamic releasing factors is highlighted in this review. We propose that adipose tissue is a member of the diffuse neuroendocrine system. Cumulatively, this is conceptualized as neuroadipology, a new example of a link between neurobiology and other topics, such as neuroimmunology and neuroendocrinology. Because adipose tissue is a bona fide endocrine organ, neuroadipology may be considered a new discipline in neuroendocrinology. It may have a wide-ranging potential within a variety of neuronal and metabolic functions in health and disease.


Key words: adipose tissue; diffuse neuroendocrine system; neurotrophic factor

Abbreviations: DNES, diffuse neuroendocrine system, GABA, γ-aminobutyric acid, NGF, nerve growth factor, WAT, white adipose tissue

1To whom correspondence should be addressed (email chaldakov@yahoo.com).

Part of a series marking the 70th birthday of the Cell Biology International Editor-in-Chief Denys Wheatley


Received 12 July 2010; accepted 23 July 2010

Published online 8 September 2010, doi:10.1042/CBI20100509


© The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2010 Portland Press Limited


ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)