Abstract: Women have more body fat than men, but in contrast to the
deleterious metabolic consequences of the central obesity typical of men, the
pear-shaped body fat distribution of many women is associated with lower
cardiometabolic risk. To understand the mechanisms regulating adiposity and adipose
tissue distribution in men and women,... read moresignificant research attention has focused on
comparing adipocyte morphological and metabolic properties, as well as the capacity
of preadipocytes derived from different depots for proliferation and differentiation.
Available evidence points to possible intrinsic, cell autonomous differences in
preadipocytes and adipocytes, as well as modulatory roles for sex steroids, the
microenvironment within each adipose tissue, and developmental factors.
Gluteal-femoral adipose tissues of women may simply provide a safe lipid reservoir
for excess energy, or they may directly regulate systemic metabolism via release of
metabolic products or adipokines. We provide a brief overview of the relationship of
fat distribution to metabolic health in men and women, and then focus on mechanisms
underlying sex differences in adipose tissue biology.
Karastergiou, Kalypso, Steven R. Smith, Andrew S. Greenberg,
and Susan K. Fried. "Sex differences in human adipose tissues - the biology of pear
shape." Biology of Sex Differences 3, no. 1 (12, 2012):