Structural Organization

Although the insect fat body is widely distributed throughout the hemocoel, two major regions can be distinguished. Near the integument and musculature is the peripheral (subcuticular) fat body, which largely functions for storage. The second layer, the perivisceral (gut) fat body, which surrounds the alimentary canal, is more metabolically active than the previous layer. The fat body tissue surrounds other insect organs such as brain and nervous tissues, gonads, and muscles. It is noteworthy that the fat body is intimately associated with nearly all vital tissues and organs in the insect body, including the tracheal system, the musculature, the Malpighian tubules, and the hemolymph. This spatial organization is well adapted to the physiology and the open circulatory diffusion system of insects, thereby facilitating absorption and release of metabolites and nutrients.

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