Diabetic human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells fail to differentiate in functional adipocytes

Ignazio Barbagallo, Giovanni Li Volti, Fabio Galvano, Guido Tettamanti, Francesca R Pluchinotta, Sonia Bergante, Luca Vanella

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Adipose tissue dysfunction represents a hallmark of diabetic patients and is a consequence of the altered homeostasis of this tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their differentiation into adipocytes contribute significantly in maintaining the mass and function of adult adipose tissue. The aim of this study was to evaluate the differentiation of MSCs from patients suffering type 2 diabetes (dASC) and how such process results in hyperplasia or rather a stop of adipocyte turnover resulting in hypertrophy of mature adipocytes. Our results showed that gene profile of all adipogenic markers is not expressed in diabetic cells after differentiation indicating that diabetic cells fail to differentiate into adipocytes. Interestingly, delta like 1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, and interleukin 1β were upregulated whereas Sirtuin 1 and insulin receptor substrate 1 gene expression were found downregulated in dASC compared to cells obtained from healthy subjects. Taken together our data indicate that dASC lose their ability to differentiate into mature and functional adipocytes. In conclusion, our in vitro study is the first to suggest that diabetic patients might develop obesity through a hypertrophy of existing mature adipocytes due to failure turnover of adipose tissue.


  • Journal Article


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