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Cell Metab. 2015 Sep 1;22(3):408-17. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.06.011. Epub 2015 Jul 16.

Transplanted Bone Marrow-Derived Cells Contribute to Human Adipogenesis.

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Department of Medicine (H7), Karolinska Institutet, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:
Department of Clinical Immunology, Karolinska Institutet, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (C5), Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
Science for Life Laboratory, Division of Gene Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), School of Biotechnology, 171 65 Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Medicine (H7), Karolinska Institutet, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Laboratory Medicine (H5), Karolinska Institutet, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.
Institut Camille Jordan, CNRS UMR 5208, University of Lyon, 69622 Villeurbanne, France.


Because human white adipocytes display a high turnover throughout adulthood, a continuous supply of precursor cells is required to maintain adipogenesis. Bone marrow (BM)-derived progenitor cells may contribute to mammalian adipogenesis; however, results in animal models are conflicting. Here we demonstrate in 65 subjects who underwent allogeneic BM or peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplantation that, over the entire lifespan, BM/PBSC-derived progenitor cells contribute ∼10% to the subcutaneous adipocyte population. While this is independent of gender, age, and different transplantation-related parameters, body fat mass exerts a strong influence, with up to 2.5-fold increased donor cell contribution in obese individuals. Exome and whole-genome sequencing of single adipocytes suggests that BM/PBSC-derived progenitors contribute to adipose tissue via both differentiation and cell fusion. Thus, at least in the setting of transplantation, BM serves as a reservoir for adipocyte progenitors, particularly in obese subjects.

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