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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1987 Apr;64(4):832-5.

Glucocorticoids and insulin promote the differentiation of human adipocyte precursor cells into fat cells.


To study the in vitro differentiation of human adipocyte precursor cells and its regulation by hormones, primary cultures of stromal vascular cells of human adipose tissue were established. A 30- to 70-fold increase in the number of developing fat cells was achieved by the addition of cortisol or related corticosteroids in the presence of insulin. Either of the two hormones alone was ineffective. The stimulatory action of cortisol was dose dependent and occurred at physiological concentrations. The results suggest that glucocorticoids may play a role in the development of human hyperplastic obesity by stimulating the formation of adipocytes from precursor cells.

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