ALL CELL IMAGES: Obesity / Picture of Fat Cells (adipocytes) from white adipose tissue
Picture of fat cells or adipocytes. In obesity, fat cells may swell to great size. This image is 500 x 500 pixels the original is 4,096 x 4,096 pixels.
This image shows a clump of fat cells or adipocytes (adipo from the Latin adeps, meaning fat + kytos from the Greek for hollow) from white adipose tissue. These fat cells store lipid (fat) as one giant droplet (pale yellow spheres) and in doing so become greatly distended. The cytoplasm (blue) is stretched thinly around the fat droplet and the nucleus (bluish discoid body) is pushed to one side along with the cellular organelles. The cells are roughly spherical although they press against one another and so flatten at contact planes. Fat cells are metabolically active and are well supplied by blood vessels (a capillary containing red blood cells is shown coursing beneath the adipocytes).
About a fifth to a quarter of adult body weight is made from white adipose tissue. However this proportion can be lower in lean individuals and it can rise dramatically in obese individuals. Obesity is now a major health problem in the West.