Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mech Dev. 2010 Apr;127(3-4):183-202. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Downregulated expression of the secreted glycoprotein follistatin-like 1 (Fstl1) is a robust hallmark of preadipocyte to adipocyte conversion.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, OH 43614, USA.


Obesity is a public health crisis in the United States. Targeting preadipocyte to adipocyte conversion may be an effective approach to regulate adipose mass. Using differential screening we identified Fstl1, a secreted glycoprotein with roles in immunomodulation, cell growth, cardioprotection, and vascularization, as a "preadipokine". Fstl1 is highly expressed in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and dramatically downregulated early in their differentiation to adipocytes. Northern blot analysis of murine tissues reveals white adipose tissue (WAT), lung and heart as primary sites of Fstl1 transcript expression. In WAT, Fstl1 transcript is restricted to the preadipocyte-containing stromal-vascular cell population. Time course studies in multiple adipogenesis models reveal downregulation of Fstl1 is a hallmark of white and brown adipocyte conversion. By Western blot, we show culture media of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes contains high levels of Fstl1 protein that rapidly decline in adipocyte conversion. Moreover, we observe a correlation between preadipocyte phenotype and Fstl1 expression in that TNFalpha-mediated de-differentiation of 3T3-L1 adipocytes is accompanied by re-expression of Fstl1 transcript and protein. Treatment of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes with a panel of 18 hormones and other agents revealed the demethylating agent 5-aza-cytidine decreases Fstl1 transcript and protein levels by approximately 90%. Furthermore, of 10 additional preadipocyte-expressed genes analyzed we find Pref-1, Col1A1, Sca-1/Ly6a, Lox and Thbs2, are also downregulated by 5-aza-cytidine. Using luciferase reporter constructs containing 791 or 3922 bp of the Fstl1 5' flanking region, we determine negative transcriptional regulation by Kruppel-like factor 15. Together, our data suggest downregulation of Fstl1 expression may be an important feature of preadipocyte to adipocyte conversion.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Fstl1; Preadipocyte; Tsc-36; adipogenesis; adipose tissue; differentiation; obesity; secreted factor

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk