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Organismal Carbohydrate and Lipid Homeostasis

Organismal Carbohydrate and Lipid Homeostasis

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  • D. Grahame Hardie

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbera006031
Number of pages16
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Journal publication dateMay 2012


All living organisms maintain a high ATP: ADP ratio to drive energy-requiring processes. They therefore need mechanisms to maintain energy balance at the cellular level. In addition, multicellular eukaryotes have assigned the task of storing energy to specialized cells such as adipocytes, and therefore also need a means of intercellular communication to signal the needs of individual tissues and to maintain overall energy balance at the whole body level. Such signaling allows animals to survive periods of fasting or starvation when food is not available and is mainly achieved by hormonal and nervous communication. Insulin, adipokines, epinephrine, and other agonists thus stimulate pathways that regulate the activities of key enzymes involved in control of metabolism to integrate organismal carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Overnutrition can dysregulate these pathways and have damaging consequences, causing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.


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