Cell culture models (e.g. 3T3-L1 cells) have been developed for studying the process of adipocyte differentiation. Differentiation can be induced by adding insulin-like growth factor I, glucocorticoid, fatty acids, and an agent that increases intracellular cAMP level. The adipocyte differentiation program is regulated by transcriptional activators such as CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBP alpha), peroxisomal proliferator activated receptor gamma 2 (PPAR gamma 2), fatty acid activated receptor (FAAR), and transcriptional repressors such as preadipocyte repressor element binding protein (PRE) and C/EBP undifferentiated protein (CUP). These transcription factors coordinate the expression of genes involved in creating and maintaining the adipocyte phenotype including the insulin-responsive glucose transporter (GLUT4), stearoyl CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), and the fatty acid binding protein (422/aP2).