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Cell Metab. 2008 Dec;8(6):454-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.11.001.

Before they were fat: adipocyte progenitors.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Adipose tissue mass can expand throughout adult life. Therefore, proliferative adipocyte precursor cells must stand at the ready to respond to increased demand for energy storage. Recent provocative studies have identified discrete immature cell populations from which brown and white adipocytes are derived. This work not only brings fundamental insight into adipose tissue formation but also provides new tools to study how adipogenesis is regulated in pathological conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

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