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April 26, 1947


JAMA. 1947;133(17):1283. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880170029010

Two theories prevail concerning the histogenesis of the fat cell. According to one, it is a cell set apart in early life for the purpose of producing fat, so-called primitive fat "organs" being found in various localities in the form of small groups of stellate or spindle cells richly permeated by capillary vessels. The other theory accounts for the origin of the fat cell on the basis of metaplasia of the fibroblast with accumulation of fat within its body. The fibroblast, when it fails to take on the specialized function of the fat cell, it is assumed, follows its natural inclination and develops into connective tissue. Probably both methods of cellular lipogenesis are effective. In certain pathologic conditions the primordial fat "organs" are increased in size because of hyperplasia of their cellular constituents; inversely, in many cachectic subjects the fat disappears from the cell and the cytoplasm is replaced by

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