Scd1 and monounsaturated lipids are required for autophagy and survival of adipocytes

Mol Metab. 2024 May:83:101916. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2024.101916. Epub 2024 Mar 14.


Objective: Exposure of adipocytes to 'cool' temperatures often found in the periphery of the body induces expression of Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase-1 (Scd1), an enzyme that converts saturated fatty acids to monounsaturated fatty acids. The goal of this study is to further investigate the roles of Scd in adipocytes.

Method: In this study, we employed Scd1 knockout cells and mouse models, along with pharmacological Scd1 inhibition to dissect the enzyme's function in adipocyte physiology.

Results: Our study reveals that production of monounsaturated lipids by Scd1 is necessary for fusion of autophagosomes to lysosomes and that with a Scd1-deficiency, autophagosomes accumulate. In addition, Scd1-deficiency impairs lysosomal and autolysosomal acidification resulting in vacuole accumulation and eventual cell death. Blocking autophagosome formation or supplementation with monounsaturated fatty acids maintains vitality of Scd1-deficient adipocytes.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the indispensable role of Scd1 in adipocyte survival, with its inhibition in vivo triggering autophagy-dependent cell death and its depletion in vivo leading to the loss of bone marrow adipocytes.

Keywords: ADCD; Autophagy-dependent cell death; BMAT; BMAds; Bone marrow adipocytes; Bone marrow adipose tissue; MUFA; Monounsaturated fatty acid; Scd1; Stearoyl CoA Desaturase 1.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes* / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Autophagosomes / metabolism
  • Autophagy*
  • Cell Survival
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated* / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated* / pharmacology
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout*
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase* / genetics
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase* / metabolism


  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase
  • Scd1 protein, mouse
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated