Adipocyte dysfunction is directly associated with pathologies characterized by metabolic disorders including obesity, diabetes mellitus type II and metabolic syndrome. Adipogenesis is a complex process that has been extensively studied in different cell models. The main contributions in this area have been elucidating the signaling pathways that regulate adipogenic differentiation from pre-adipocytes to mature adipocytes. Cells resulting from this process are generally characterized by a spherical morphology with the presence of fat droplets in their cytoplasm. These parameters have been considered as the cellular events that determine the final stage of adipogenesis. However functionality and maturity of the differentiated adipocytes have been sparsely explored. In this context, and considering that adipose tissue plays a central role in energy homeostasis, assessing the function of differentiated adipocytes is an important parameter to considerer in the study of the adipogenesis.
In a study reported in the September 2015 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, David Contador and colleagues, from the Center for Regenerative Medicine, Facultad de Medicina-Clínica Alemana, Universidad del Desarrollo, demonstrate that exposure of mesechymal stromal cells (MSCs) to a simple adipogenic stimulus consisting of dexamethasone and rosiglitazone (D&R) induces adipogenic differentiation. They observed that a significant percentage of these cells differentiate into adipogenic lineage, characterized not only by the presence of fat droplets, but also by the loss of proliferative potential, expression of genes characteristic of a mature adipocyte, sensitivity to insulin and synthesis and secretion of adipokines. Dr. Contador said "these results clearly demonstrate that D&R is a useful tool to generate functional mature adipocytes in vitro. This evidence is relevant especially considering that the standard adipogenic cocktail widely used to induce the adipogenic process in MSCs, generates non-functional immature adipocytes."
Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine said "Contador et al have demonstrated that dexamethasone and rosiglitazone collectively are able to induce adipognesis from mesechymal stromal cells producing functional adipocytes. These adipogenic stimulants could be useful for future pathway analysis and stem cell therapies."
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