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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jan 16;378(3):539-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.11.092. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Flow cytometric and immunohistochemical detection of in vivo BrdU-labeled cells in mouse fat depots.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, 6400 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.


This study has determined the natural frequency and localization of progenitor/stem cells within fat depots in situ based on their ability to retain DNA nucleotide label (BrdU). Neonate and mature male C57BL6/J mice were injected intraperitoneally with BrdU- and label-retaining cells (LRC) were quantified in fat depots by immunohistochemical, immunofluorescent, and flow cytometric methods. In neonates, LRC constituted 27% of the cells in inguinal fat (iWAT) and 65% in interscapular brown fat (BAT) after Day 10 and 26% of the cells in epididymal fat (eWAT) after Day 28. After 52 days, the LRC accounted for 0.72% of iWAT, 0.53% of eWAT and 1.05% of BAT, respectively. The BrdU-labeled cells localized to two areas: single cells distributed among adipocytes or those adjacent to the blood vessels wall. In mature C57BL6/J mice, flow cytometric analysis determined that a majority of the LRC were also positive for stem cell antigen-1 (Sca-1).

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