Ontogeny and nutritional control of adipogenesis in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The global obesity epidemic demands an improved understanding of the developmental and environmental factors regulating fat storage. Adipocytes serve as major sites of fat storage and as regulators of energy balance and inflammation. The optical transparency of developing zebrafish provides new opportunities to investigate mechanisms governing adipocyte biology, however zebrafish adipocytes remain uncharacterized. We have developed methods for visualizing zebrafish adipocytes in vivo by labeling neutral lipid droplets with Nile Red. Our results establish that neutral lipid droplets first accumulate in visceral adipocytes during larval stages and increase in number and distribution as zebrafish grow. We show that the cellular anatomy of zebrafish adipocytes is similar to mammalian white adipocytes and identify peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor gamma and fatty acid binding protein 11a as markers of the zebrafish adipocyte lineage. By monitoring adipocyte development prior to neutral lipid deposition, we find that the first visceral preadipocytes appear in association with the pancreas shortly after initiation of exogenous nutrition. Zebrafish reared in the absence of food fail to form visceral preadipocytes, indicating that exogenous nutrition is required for adipocyte development. These results reveal homologies between zebrafish and mammalian adipocytes and establish the zebrafish as a new model for adipocyte research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Flynn, EJ; Trent, CM; Rawls, JF

Published Date

  • August 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 50 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1641 - 1652

PubMed ID

  • 19366995

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2724053

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1539-7262

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1194/jlr.M800590-JLR200


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States