A novel adipose-specific gene deletion model demonstrates potential pitfalls of existing methods

Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Jan;27(1):127-34. doi: 10.1210/me.2012-1267. Epub 2012 Nov 28.


Adipose-specific gene deletion in mice is crucial in determining gene function in adipocyte homeostasis and the development of obesity. We noted 100% mortality when the Hdac3 gene was conditionally deleted using Fabp4-Cre mice, the most commonly used model of adipose-targeted Cre recombinase. However, this surprising result was not reproduced using other models of adipose targeting of Cre, including a novel Retn-Cre mouse. These findings underscore the need for caution when interpreting data obtained using Fabp4-Cre mice and should encourage the use of additional or alternative adipose-targeting Cre mouse models before drawing conclusions about in vivo adipocyte-specific functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / enzymology*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Epididymis / enzymology
  • Epididymis / physiopathology
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Genes, Lethal
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Histone Deacetylases / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Obesity / enzymology*
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Organ Specificity
  • Phenotype


  • Fabp4 protein, mouse
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Histone Deacetylases
  • histone deacetylase 3