Lipodystrophies are disorders of adipose tissue (fat) characterized by selective loss of fat from various parts of the body. There are several different types of lipodystrophies and the degree of fat loss may vary from very small depressed areas to near complete absence of adipose tissue. The extent of fat loss may determine the severity of metabolic complications related to insulin resistance, such as diabetes mellitus and high levels of serum triglycerides. Some patients may have only cosmetic problems while others may also have severe metabolic complications.
Inherited lipodystrophies are caused by mutations (alterations or blips) in a gene. Several genes responsible for different types of inherited lipodystrophies have been identified. These include AGPAT2 (1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase 2), BSCL2 (Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipodystrophy 2) in Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy (CGL), Lamin A/ C (LMNA) gene in Familial Partial Lipodystrophy Dunnigan variety (Familial Partial Lipodystrophy), and PPARG (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma) gene in familial partial lipodystrophy.