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Region-specific variation in the properties of skeletal adipocytes reveals regulated and constitutive marrow adipose tissues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Erica L. Scheller
  • Casey R. Doucette
  • Brian S. Learman
  • William P. Cawthorn
  • Shaima Khandaker
  • Benjamin Schell
  • Brent Wu
  • Shi-Ying Ding
  • Miriam A. Bredella
  • Pouneh K. Fazeli
  • Basma Khoury
  • Karl Jepsen
  • Paul Pilch
  • Anne Klibanski
  • Clifford J. Rosen
  • Ormond A. MacDougald

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberNCOMMS-15-00410B
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2015


Marrow adipose tissue (MAT) accumulates in diverse clinical conditions but remains poorly understood. Here we show region-specific variation in MAT adipocyte development, regulation, size, lipid composition, gene expression, and genetic determinants. Early MAT formation in mice is conserved, while later development is strain dependent. Proximal, but not distal, MAT is lost with 21- day cold exposure. Rat MAT adipocytes from distal sites have an increased proportion of
monounsaturated fatty acids and expression of Scd1/Scd2, Cebpa and Cebpb. Humans also have increased distal marrow unsaturation. We define proximal ‘regulated’ MAT (rMAT) as single adipocytes interspersed with active hematopoiesis, whereas distal ‘constitutive’ MAT (cMAT) has low hematopoiesis, larger adipocyte size, early development, and preservation with systemic challenges. Loss of rMAT occurs in mice with CGL4, whereas both rMAT and cMAT are preserved with CGL3. Consideration of these MAT subpopulations may be important for future studies linking MAT to bone, hematopoiesis and whole-body metabolism.

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