Human induced pluripotent stem cells: A new source for brown and white adipocytes

World J Stem Cells. 2014 Sep 26;6(4):467-72. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v6.i4.467.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide a novel source for generating adipocytes, thus opening new avenues for fundamental research and clinical medicine. We present the adipogenic potential of hiPSCs and the various methods to derive hiPSC-MSCs. We discuss the main characteristic of hiPSC-MSCs, which is their low adipogenic capacity as compared to adult-MSCs. Finally, we propose several hypotheses to explanation this feature, underlying a potential critical role of the micro-environment. We favour the hypothesis that the range of factors or culture conditions required to induce adipocyte differentiation of MSCs derived from adult tissues and from embryonic-like cells could differ.

Keywords: Brown adipocytes; Human induced pluripotent stem cells; Lipodystrophy; Mesenchymal stem cells; Obesity; White adipocytes.

Publication types

  • Review