Regulation of adiposity by mTORC1
Obesity is characterized by an excessive increase in the adipose tissue mass, and is associated with higher incidence of several chronic metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Therefore, its increasing prevalence is a public health concern, and it is important to better understand its etiology to develop new therapeutic strategies. Evidence accumulated over the years indicates that obesity is associated with a marked activation in adipose tissue of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a signaling pathway that controls lipid metabolism, and adipocyte formation and maintenance. Curiously, mTORC1 is also involved in the control of nonshivering thermogenesis and recruitment as well as browning of white adipose tissue. In this review, we explored mTORC1 functions in adipocytes and presented evidence, suggesting that mTORC1 may either increase or reduce adiposity, depending on the conditions and activation levels.