Adipose tissues dynamically remodel their cellular composition in response to external cues by stimulating beige adipocyte biogenesis; however, the developmental origin and pathways regulating this process remain insufficiently understood owing to adipose tissue heterogeneity. Here, we employed single-cell RNA-seq and identified a unique subset of adipocyte progenitor cells (APCs) that possessed the cell-intrinsic plasticity to give rise to beige fat. This beige APC population is proliferative and marked by cell-surface proteins, including PDGFRα, Sca1, and CD81. Notably, CD81 is not only a beige APC marker but also required for de novo beige fat biogenesis following cold exposure. CD81 forms a complex with αV/β1 and αV/β5 integrins and mediates the activation of integrin-FAK signaling in response to irisin. Importantly, CD81 loss causes diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance, and adipose tissue inflammation. These results suggest that CD81 functions as a key sensor of external inputs and controls beige APC proliferation and whole-body energy homeostasis.
Keywords: adipocyte progenitors; adipogenesis; beige fat; brown fat; diabetes; metabolic adaptation; metabolic disease; metabolism; obesity; tissue remodeling.
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