Fat Body

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fat body

[′fat ‚bäd·ē]
(invertebrate zoology)
A nutritional reservoir of fatty tissue surrounding the viscera or forming a layer beneath the integument in the immature larval stages of many insects.
(vertebrate zoology)
A mass of adipose tissue attached to each genital gland in amphibians.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fat Body


(1) Areolar tissue in the body of insects and some other arthropods that fills the spaces between the internal organs and underlying walls of the body. The cells of the fat body are rich in fat (hence the name). It is filled with tracheae and may be white, orange, yellow, or green. The cells of the fat body are the site where nutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) accumulate and where metabolic products (uric acid salts and so forth) accumulate and are excreted. In larvae, the fat body consists of external (parietal) and internal (visceral) lobes. This division is indistinct in adult insects.

In some luminescing insects, the fat body or a separate organ contains a luminescing substance called luciferin. In many insects, the fat body contains the so-called mycetomes—symbiontic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi) that participate in metabolism and are found in certain parts of the fat body.

(2) In amphibians, the fat body is a yellow irregularly shaped structure located above each testis that nourishes the testis and the spermatozoa developing in it.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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