Dedifferentiation of mature adipocytes with periodic exposure to cold


Lipid-containing adipocytes can dedifferentiate into fibroblast-like cells under appropriate culture conditions, which are known as dedifferentiated fat (DFAT) cells. However, the relative low dedifferentiation efficiency with the established protocols limit their widespread applications. In this study, we found that adipocyte dedifferentiation could be promoted via periodic exposure to cold (10°C) in vitro. The lipid droplets in mature adipocytes were reduced by culturing the cells in periodic cooling/heating cycles (10–37°C) for one week. The periodic temperature change led to the down-regulation of the adipogenic genes (FABP4, Leptin) and up-regulation of the mitochondrial uncoupling related genes (UCP1, PGC-1α, and PRDM16). In addition, the enhanced expression of the cell proliferation marker Ki67 was observed in the dedifferentiated fibroblast-like cells after periodic exposure to cold, as compared to the cells cultured in 37°C. Our in vitro model provides a simple and effective approach to promote lipolysis and can be used to improve the dedifferentiation efficiency of adipocytes towards multipotent DFAT cells.
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