Fat depot origin affects adipogenesis in primary cultured and cloned human preadipocytes

Tamara Tchkonia, Nino Giorgadze, Tamar Pirtskhalava, Yourka Tchoukalova, Iordanes Karagiannides, R. Armour Forse, Matthew Deponte, Michael Stevenson, Wen Guo, Jianrong Han, Gerri Waloga, Timothy L. Lash, Michael D. Jensen, James L. Kirkland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


Fat distribution varies among individuals with similar body fat content. Innate differences in adipose cell characteristics may contribute because lipid accumulation and lipogenic enzyme activities vary among preadipocytes cultured from different fat depots. We determined expression of the adipogenic transcription factors peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α (C/EBP-α) and their targets in abdominal subcutaneous, mesenteric, and omental preadipocytes cultured in parallel from obese subjects. Subcutaneous preadipocytes, which had the highest lipid accumulation, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PD) activity, and adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (aP2) abundance, had highest PPAR-γ and C/EBP-α expression. Levels were intermediate in mesenteric and lowest in omental preadipocytes. Overexpression of C/EBP-α in transfected omental preadipocytes enhanced differentiation. The proportion of differentiated cells in colonies derived from single subcutaneous preadipocytes was higher than in mesenteric or omental clones. Only cells that acquired lipid inclusions exhibited C/EBP-α upregulation, irrespective of depot origin. Thus regional variation in adipogenesis depends on differences at the level of transcription factor expression and is a trait conferred on daughter cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1286-R1296
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 51-5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein
  • CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α
  • Fatty acid binding protein
  • Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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