Critical Assessment of In Vitro and In Vivo Models to Study Marrow Adipose Tissue

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2020 Apr;18(2):85-94. doi: 10.1007/s11914-020-00569-4.


Purpose of the review: The purpose of this review is to describe the in vitro and in vivo methods that researchers use to model and investigate bone marrow adipocytes (BMAds).

Recent findings: The bone marrow (BM) niche is one of the most interesting and dynamic tissues of the human body. Relatively little is understood about BMAds, perhaps in part because these cells do not easily survive flow cytometry and histology processing and hence have been overlooked. Recently, researchers have developed in vitro and in vivo models to study normal function and dysfunction in the BM niche. Using these models, scientists and clinicians have noticed that BMAds, which form bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT), are able to respond to numerous signals and stimuli, and communicate with local cells and distant tissues in the body. This review provides an overview of how BMAds are modeled and studied in vitro and in vivo.

Keywords: BM; BMAT; BMAds; Bone marrow adipose tissue; bone marrow; bone marrow adipocytes; in vitro models; in vivo models.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes*
  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells*
  • Bone Marrow*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Culture Techniques
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Rabbits
  • Rats