Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Aug;34(8):1319-27. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2010.47. Epub 2010 Mar 16.

Increased adipogenic conversion of muscle satellite cells in obese Zucker rats.

Author information

Endocrine-Metabolic Laboratory, Internal Medicine, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.



Visceral and intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) depots account for most obesity-related metabolic and cardiovascular complications. Muscle satellite cells (SCs) are mesenchymal stem cells giving rise to myotubes and also to adipocytes, suggesting their possible contribution to IMAT origin and expansion. We investigated the myogenic differentiation of SCs and the adipogenic potential of both preadipocytes and SCs from genetically obese Zucker rats (fa/fa), focusing on the role of Wnt signaling in these differentiation processes.


SCs were isolated by single-fiber technique from flexor digitorum brevis muscle and preadipocytes were extracted from subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT). Morphological features and gene expression profile were evaluated during in vitro myogenesis and adipogenesis. Wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 10b (Wnt10b) expression was quantified by quantitative PCR in skeletal muscle and AT.


We did not observe any difference in the proliferation rate and in the myogenic differentiation of SCs from obese and lean rats. However, a decreased insulin-induced glucose uptake was present in myotubes originating from fa/fa rats. Under adipogenic conditions, preadipocytes and SCs of obese animals displayed an enhanced adipogenesis. Wnt10b expression was reduced in obese rats in both muscle and AT.


Our data suggest that the increase in different fat depots including IMAT and the reduced muscle insulin sensitivity, the major phenotypical alteration of obese Zucker rats, could be ascribed to an intrinsic defect, either genetically determined or acquired, still present in both muscle and fat precursors. The involvement of Wnt10b as a regulator of both adipogenesis and muscle-to-fat conversion is suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center