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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


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Title: Cell line models of differentiation: preadipocytes and adipocytes)

item Poulos, Sylvia
item Hausman, Gary
item Dodson, Michael

Submitted to: Experimental Biology and Medicine
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2010
Publication Date: 10/1/2010
Citation: Poulos, S.P., Hausman, G.J., Dodson, M. 2010. Cell line models of differentiation: preadipocytes and adipocytes. Experimental Biology and Medicine. 235(10):1185-1193.

Interpretive Summary: A number of cell culture systems have been developed over the years to evaluate the development of fat cells. A very diverse number of cell culture systems have been developed each with advantages and disadvantages for their use in fat cell studies. The investigator must be aware of these advantages and disadvantages before a particular cell culture system is selected. Furthermore, cell culture systems can never fully mimic the intact live animal.

Technical Abstract: The intense study of adipocyte biology spurred by interest in regulating body composition and metabolism has given rise to a number of in vitro cell models. These in vitro models have been invaluable in determining the mechanisms involved in adipocyte differentiation. In addition in vitro cell systems are often used to identify compounds that may mediate adipocyte proliferation, differentiation, adipokine secretion, gene and protein expression among other factors. The various cells available for research purposes all have unique advantages and disadvantages that one should be aware of when selecting cells. While established cell lines, such as 3T3-L1 cells have historically been easier and less costly to use than freshly isolated cells, recent availability of isolated cells from companies improves the availability of a variety of cells globally. Freshly isolated cells allow for various comparisons such as the in vitro evaluation of different in vivo conditions that may not be possible using cell lines. Lastly, stem cells, transdifferentiating cells, or dedifferentiated cells are relatively new cell models being used. This goal of this review is to highlight similarities and differences in adipocyte models to aid in appropriate model selection and data interpretation for successful advancement of our understanding of adipocyte biology.

Last Modified: 05/22/2017
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