Progress has been made in elucidating the cell-surface phenotype of primary adipose progenitors; however, specific functional markers and distinct molecular signatures of fat depot-specific preadipocytes have remained elusive. In this study, we label committed murine adipose progenitors through expression of GFP from the genetic locus for Zfp423, a gene controlling preadipocyte determination. Selection of GFP-expressing fibroblasts from either subcutaneous or visceral adipose-derived stromal vascular cultures isolates stably committed preadipocytes that undergo robust adipogenesis. Immunohistochemistry for Zfp423-driven GFP expression in vivo confirms a perivascular origin of preadipocytes within both white and brown adipose tissues. Interestingly, a small subset of capillary endothelial cells within white and brown fat also express this marker, suggesting a contribution of specialized endothelial cells to the adipose lineage. Zfp423(GFP) mice represent a simple tool for the specific localization and isolation of molecularly defined preadipocytes from distinct adipose tissue depots.
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