Basic Histology -- White Fat with Capillary Next Home Back

We've seen how fat cells contain a single drop of lipid. The nucleus is pushed to the edge.

You may hear of this as a "signet ring" look. Signet rings used to be used to make impressions in wax, instead of signing your name. (It was harder to forge and lots of kings were probably illiterate anyway.) Today, we might say such cells look like class rings.

In people who are obese, the fat cells are large. In people who are very trim, the fat cells are small.

There's an old adage about every pound of fat containing however many miles of additional blood vessels that must be perfused. Yeah, sure. But most of these vessels are tiny, and are past the arterioles (so they don't contribute to resistance). Your heart gets more of a workout just from carrying the fat around.

This is ordinary bodyfat from somebody of about average adiposity.

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Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences