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REVIEW: Age-Related Obesity Is a Heritage of the Evolutionary Past

E. V. Tereshina1,2* and S. I. Ivanenko1

1World Wide Medical Assistance, Fuchsloch 6A, 6317 Oberwil B. Zug, Switzerland; fax: (495) 631-5620; E-mail: info@wwma.ch

2Pirogov Russian State Medical University, Russian Scientific and Clinical Center of Gerontology, ul. 1-ya Leonova 16a, 129226 Moscow, Russia; fax: (499) 187-6467; E-mail: winterel@mail.ru

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received March 20, 2014
In the process of human aging, an increase in the total amount of fat is observed mainly due to accumulation of lipids in non-adipose tissues. Insulin resistance, provoked by the intracellular accumulation of triglycerides, is often associated with development of such age-related diseases as atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and also with systemic inflammation and lipo- and glucose toxicity. Accumulation of lipids and lipophilic compounds is a biological phenomenon common for both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Initially, it arose as an adaptation to starvation and shortage of nitrogen-containing nutrients, but later it converted into a depot of membrane material, needed on recommencement of cell division. In rodents and humans, the accumulation of non-metabolized fat in non-adipose tissues can be regarded as an adaptation to changes in the internal medium on a certain stage of ontogenesis as a result of age-related dysfunction of adipose tissue.
KEY WORDS: lipid accumulation, adaptation, adipose tissue, lipotoxicity, aging

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297914070013