Biomechanical stimulation effects on the metabolism of adipocyte

Lisa Mor-Yossef Moldovan, Nadav Kislev, Maayan Lustig, Leslie Pomeraniec, Dafna Benayahu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adipose tissue plays a leading role in obesity, which, in turn, can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Adipocytes (AD) respond to the biomechanical stimulation experienced in fat tissue under static stretch during prolonged sitting or lying. To investigate the effect of such chronic stimulation on adipocyte cell metabolism, we used an in vitro system to mimic the static stretch conditions. Under in vitro culture stretching, cells were analyzed at the single-cell level and we measured an increase in the projected area of the AD and higher content of lipid droplets. A decrease in the projected area of these cells’ nucleus is associated with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma expression and heterochromatin. This is the first study to reveal proteins that were altered under static stretch following a mass spectrometry analysis and main pathways that affect cell fate and metabolism. Bioinformatics analysis of the proteins indicated an increase in mitochondrial activity and associated pathways under static stretch stimulation. Quantification of the mitochondrial activity by 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and the ATPase related proteins specifically measured ATP5B indicated an increase in adipogenesis which points to a higher rate of cell metabolism under static stretch. In summary, our results elaborate on the metabolism of AD exposed to biomechanical stimulation, that is, associated with altered cellular protein profile and thereby influenced cell fate. The static stretch stimulation accelerated adipocyte differentiation through increased mitochondrial activity. Hence, in this study, we introduce a new perspective in understanding the molecular regulation of mechano-transduction in adipogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8702-8713
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • adipogenesis
  • mitochondrial activity
  • static stretch


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