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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Dec;15(12):2951-7. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.352.

Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and nitric oxide promote adipogenesis in a model that mimics obesity.

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Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.



An increasing body of evidence is emerging linking adipogenesis and inflammation. Obesity, alone or as a part of the metabolic syndrome, is characterized by a state of chronic low-level inflammation as revealed by raised plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase proteins. If inflammation can, in turn, increase adipose tissue growth, this may be the basis for a positive feedback loop in obesity. We have developed a tissue engineering model for growing adipose tissue in the mouse that allows quantification of increases in adipogenesis. In this study, we evaluated the adipogenic potential of the inflammogens monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and zymosan-A (Zy) in a murine tissue engineering model.


MCP-1 and Zy were added to chambers filled with Matrigel and fibroblast growth factor 2. To analyze the role of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), the iNOS inhibitor aminoguanidine was added to the chamber.


Our results show that MCP-1 generated proportionally large quantities of new adipose tissue. This neoadipogenesis was accompanied by an ingrowth of macrophages and could be mimicked by Zy. Aminoguanidine significantly inhibited the formation of adipose tissue.


Our findings demonstrate that low-grade inflammation and iNOS expression are important factors in adipogenesis. Because fat neoformation in obesity and the metabolic syndrome is believed to be mediated by macrophage-derived proinflammatory cytokines, this adipose tissue engineering system provides a model that could potentially be used to further unravel the pathogenesis of these two metabolic disorders.

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