Effects of stem cells from inducible brown adipose tissue on diet-induced obesity in mice

Sci Rep. 2021 Jul 6;11(1):13923. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-93224-6.


Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) are a promising option for the treatment of obesity and its metabolic co-morbidities. Despite the recent identification of brown adipose tissue (BAT) as a potential target in the management of obesity, the use of ASCs isolated from BAT as a therapy for patients with obesity has not yet been explored. Metabolic activation of BAT has been shown to have not only thermogenic effects, but it also triggers the secretion of factors that confer protection against obesity. Herein, we isolated and characterized ASCs from the visceral adipose tissue surrounding a pheochromocytoma (IB-hASCs), a model of inducible BAT in humans. We then compared the anti-obesity properties of IB-hASCs and human ASCs isolated from visceral white adipose tissue (W-hASCs) in a murine model of diet-induced obesity. We found that both ASC therapies mitigated the metabolic abnormalities of obesity to a similar extent, including reducing weight gain and improving glucose tolerance. However, infusion of IB-hASCs was superior to W-hASCs in suppressing lipogenic and inflammatory markers, as well as preserving insulin secretion. Our findings provide evidence for the metabolic benefits of visceral ASC infusion and support further studies on IB-hASCs as a therapeutic option for obesity-related comorbidities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, White / pathology*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / pathology*
  • Pheochromocytoma / pathology
  • Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Weight Gain


  • Biomarkers
  • Glucose