Adipose Tissue Hypoxia, A Conceptual Alometric View

Marià Alemany


Hypoxia is a condition in which there is an insufficiency of oxygen for normal cell operation. It is directly related to diminished oxygen supply, usually because of restricted/insufficient blood circulation or defective oxygen transport and release. However, in absolute terms, cells in a small size animal may experience hypoxia with an oxygen supply comparable to that of normalcy in larger animals. The question is, essentially, the alometrically-related metabolic rate which translates into the actual individual cell metabolism. Cells in large animals consume less oxygen in vivo than their smaller animal counterparts, but this is not translated into hypoxia in the former. The critical point is not the absolute oxygen supply but the relationship of this to the incorporation of substrates to oxidize. It is the alteration of the ratio between oxidizable substrates and oxygen availability, the factor eliciting the ravages of hypoxia. The normal function of the circulatory system maintains a balanced supply of both terms of the equation; however, substrate oversupply, such as that experienced by adipose tissue in the metabolic syndrome may break the equilibrium, eliciting hypoxia and acidosis, which may derive into inflammation and further cell and tissue damage.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2011;1(4):155-158


Hypoxia; Acidosis; Adipose tissue; Inflammation; Metabolic syndrome

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