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Cytokine. 2013 Oct;64(1):138-45. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2013.07.011. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Bmp4 expressed in preadipocytes is required for the onset of adipocyte differentiation.

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Division of Applied Biosciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


We previously revealed that endogenous bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) activity is required for lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The present study characterized the role of endogenous Bmp activity in preadipocytes. Endogenous Bmp activity was monitored by analyzing the level of phosphorylation of Smad1/5/8, downstream molecules in the Bmp pathway. Higher levels of phosphorylated Smad1/5/8 were detected in adipogenic cells but not in non-adipogenic cells prior to differentiation induction. The inhibition of the Bmp pathway during this period decreased the expression of Pparγ2 and C/ebpα, which are transcription factors responsible for adipocyte differentiation. The expression of these transcription factors were also down-regulated by Bmp4 knockdown. In addition, endogenous Bmp4 was required for the repression of Intrleukin-11 expression. Endogenous Bmp4 in preadipocytes is indispensable for the onset of the adipogenic program, and may help to maintain the preadipocytic state during adipocyte differentiation.


Adipocyte differentiation; Bmp4; Interleukin-11; Preadipocytes

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