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Biochemistry Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 312943, 9 pages
Review Article

ER Stress and Lipid Metabolism in Adipocytes

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1217 East Marshall Street, MSB no. 533, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
2Department of Internal Medicine, McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Richmond, VA 23298, USA

Received 11 September 2011; Accepted 28 October 2011

Academic Editor: Kezhong Zhang

Copyright © 2012 Beth S. Zha and Huiping Zhou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a rapidly emerging field of interest in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases. Recent studies have shown that chronic activation of ER stress is closely linked to dysregulation of lipid metabolism in several metabolically important cells including hepatocytes, macrophages, β-cells, and adipocytes. Adipocytes are one of the major cell types involved in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome. Recent advances in dissecting the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of adipogenesis and lipid metabolism indicate that activation of ER stress plays a central role in regulating adipocyte function. In this paper, we discuss the current understanding of the potential role of ER stress in lipid metabolism in adipocytes. In addition, we touch upon the interaction of ER stress and autophagy as well as inflammation. Inhibition of ER stress has the potential of decreasing the pathology in adipose tissue that is seen with energy overbalance.