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Metabolism. 1993 Oct;42(10):1277-83.

In vivo and in vitro development of visceral adipose tissue in a nonhuman primate (Papio species).

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Medicine, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX.


We determined the development of the omental fat depot in a cross-sectional study of 242 baboons from birth to mature adulthood. The triglyceride content of the omentum increased during preweaning (birth to 4 months) and adolescence (2 to 5 years) and was associated with an increase in both fat cell number and size. Between weaning and 2 years of age omentum triglyceride mass decreased as a result of decreasing fat cell size, but fat cell number remained constant. After adolescence and up to 13 years of age, omental triglyceride mass and fat cell volume were stable, but fat cell number increased slightly in female baboons. We determined the in vitro potential of omental stromal vascular (S-V) cells from baboons at different stages of development to differentiate in a serum-free medium. Both the proportion of omental S-V cells that accumulated cytoplasmic lipid droplets and the induction of glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH) activity were increased to the greatest degree in the presence of 1-methyl-3-isobutylxanthine, 2.0 nmol/L triiodothyronine (T3), 0.85 mumol/L insulin, and 1.0 mumol/L cortisol. Omental S-V cells from preweaning and adolescent baboons had a greater differentiation rate, GPDH activity, and triglyceride accumulation compared with cells from postweaned infants and mature adults. In summary, most of the growth of the baboon omentum occurs during the preweaning and pubertal periods of life, and omental S-V cells isolated from animals during these periods retain a greater potential to differentiate in vitro.

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