Adipogenesis and lipid production in adipocytes subjected to sustained tensile deformations and elevated glucose concentration: a living cell-scale model system of diabesity

Maayan Lustig, Amit Gefen, Dafna Benayahu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adipocyte fate commitment is characterized by morphological changes of fibroblastic pre-adipocyte cells, and specifically by accumulation of lipid droplets (LDs) as part of the adipogenesis metabolism. Formation of LDs indicates the production of triglycerides from glucose through an insulin-regulated glucose internalization process. In obesity, adipocytes typically become insulin resistant, and glucose transport into the cells is impaired, resulting in type 2 diabetes. In the present study, we monitored the adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cultured cells exposed to high (450 mg/dL hyperglycemia) and low (100 mg/dL physiological) glucose concentrations, in a novel cell culture model system of diabesity. In addition to glucose conditions, cells were concurrently exposed to different substrate tensile strains (12% and control) based on our prior work which revealed that adipogenesis is accelerated in cultures subjected to static, chronic substrate tensile deformations. Phase-contrast images were taken throughout the adipogenesis process (3 weeks) and were analyzed by an image processing algorithm which quantitatively monitors cell differentiation and lipid accumulation (number of LDs per cell and their radius as well as cell size and shape). The results indicated that high glucose concentrations and substrate tensile strains delivered to adipocytes accelerated lipid production by 1.7- and 1.4-fold, respectively. In addition, significant changes in average cell projected area and in other morphological attributes were observed during the differentiation process. The importance of this study is in characterizing the adipogenesis parameters as potential read-outs that can predict the occurrence of insulin resistance in the development of diabesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-913
Number of pages11
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israel–China
Ministry of Science3-12392, 01015218
Israel Science Foundation1266/16

    Keywords

    • Adipogenesis
    • Diabesity
    • Glucose
    • Mechanobiology
    • Sustained tensile deformations

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