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Plant extracts continue to represent an untapped source of renewable therapeutic compounds for the treatment and prevention of illnesses including chronic metabolic disorders. With the increase in worldwide obesity and its related morbidities, the need for identifying safe and effective treatments is also rising. As such, use of primary human adipose-derived stem cells represents a physiologically relevant cell system to screen for bioactive agents in the prevention and treatment of obesity and its related complications. By using these cells in a primary screen, the risk and cost of identifying artifacts due to interspecies variation and immortalized cell lines is eliminated. We demonstrate that these cells can be formatted into 384-well high throughput screens to rapidly identify botanical extracts that affect lipogenesis and lipolysis. Additionally, counterscreening with human primary stem cells from distinct adipose depots can be routinely performed to identify tissue specific responses. In our study, over 500 botanical extracts were screened and 16 (2.7%) were found to affect lipogenesis and 4 (0.7%) affected lipolysis. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

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