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Development. 2011 Nov;138(22):5027-37. doi: 10.1242/dev.067686.

The spatiotemporal development of adipose tissue.

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National Research Laboratory of Vascular Biology and Stem Cells, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 305-701, Korea.


Adipose tissue is a structure highly specialized in energy storage. The adipocyte is the parenchymal component of adipose tissue and is known to be mesoderm or neuroectoderm in origin; however, adipocyte development remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the development of adipose tissue by analyzing postnatal epididymal adipose tissue (EAT) in mouse. EAT was found to be generated from non-adipose structure during the first 14 postnatal days. From postnatal day 1 (P1) to P4, EAT is composed of multipotent progenitor cells that lack adipogenic differentiation capacity in vitro, and can be regarded as being in the 'undetermined' state. However, the progenitor cells isolated from P4 EAT obtain their adipogenic differentiation capacity by physical interaction generated by cell-to-matrix and cell-to-cell contact both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we show that impaired angiogenesis caused by either VEGFA blockade or macrophage depletion in postnatal mice interferes with adipose tissue development. We conclude that appropriate interaction between the cellular and matrix components along with proper angiogenesis are mandatory for the development of adipose tissue.

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