The presence of fat, beyond physiological limits, in organs, other than the adipose tissue, like the liver, the skeletal muscle, the heart and the pancreas etc. is called ectopic fat. It causes specific organ dysfunction in the tissues concerned. The importance of the ectopic fat is that it is connected to peripheral tissue insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome etc. Though the molecular mechanisms underlying the specific organ dysfunctions are understood, still grey areas exists as to the source of the ectopic fat and how it finds it’s way to the specific sites of the target organs (intra- myocellular in skeletal muscle, hepatocyte cytoplasm of liver, epicardial surface and coronary arteries of heart etc.). The molecular mechanisms involving the actual ectopic deposition fat, are not clear. This article focuses on some of the grey areas in the pathogenesis of the ectopic fat deposition, besides reviewing briefly the facts already known in the literature about ectopic fat deposition.
Dr. A. S. V. Prasad
Department of Internal Medicine, G.I.T.A.M Dental College, Rishikonda, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.
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