Rapid cellular turnover in adipose tissue

PLoS One. 2011 Mar 2;6(3):e17637. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017637.


It was recently shown that cellular turnover occurs within the human adipocyte population. Through three independent experimental approaches--dilution of an inducible histone 2B-green fluorescent protein (H2BGFP), labeling with the cell cycle marker Ki67 and incorporation of BrdU--we characterized the degree of cellular turnover in murine adipose tissue. We observed rapid turnover of the adipocyte population, finding that 4.8% of preadipocytes are replicating at any time and that between 1-5% of adipocytes are replaced each day. In light of these findings, we suggest that adipose tissue turnover represents a possible new avenue of therapeutic intervention against obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Obesity / pathology


  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Bromodeoxyuridine