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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Oct 17;103(42):15675-80. Epub 2006 Oct 9.

Myostatin modulates adipogenesis to generate adipocytes with favorable metabolic effects.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


A pluripotent cell line, C3H10T1/2, is induced to undergo adipogenesis by a mixture of factors that includes a glucocorticoid such as dexamethasone. We found that expression of myostatin (MSTN), a TGF-beta family member extensively studied in muscle, was induced by dexamethasone under those differentiation conditions. Moreover, MSTN could substitute for dexamethasone in the adipogenesis mixture. However, the adipocytes induced by MSTN in both cell culture and transgenic mice were small and expressed markers characteristic of immature adipocytes. These adipocytes exhibited cell-autonomous increases in insulin sensitivity and glucose oxidation. In mice, these effects produced elevated systemic insulin sensitivity and resistance to diet-induced obesity. Modulation of the final stages of adipogenesis may provide a novel approach to understanding and treating metabolic disease.

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